Warwick Man Convicted In Federal Court Of Masterminding Bank Fraud Conspiracy, Aggravated Identity Thefts, Conspiracy To Pass Counterfeit Currency
David Alcantara Devised And Implemented Schemes To Defraud R.I. Banks Of $600,000 With The Use Of Stolen Identities, Pass Counterfeit Currency In R.I., Mass. And CT.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A federal court jury in Providence today convicted David Alcantara, 32, of Warwick, of being the mastermind behind an elaborate conspiracy to defraud two area banks of nearly $600,000 by using stolen personal identifying information of several unsuspecting individuals, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service.
The jury also convicted Alcantara of leading a conspiracy to convert counterfeit $100 bills into real American dollars by making small retail purchases with bogus $100 bills and receiving cash back in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut and by returning items purchased with counterfeit $100 bills in exchange for real cash.
The week-long trial concluded today with the jury returning after deliberating for two hours with guilty verdicts, convicting Alcantara of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, eight counts of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to pass counterfeit money.
According to the government’s evidence, in December 2009 and January 2010, Alcantara’s schemes resulted in the transfer of over $600,000 from bank accounts of legitimate bank customers into accounts fraudulently created as part of the defendant’s scheme with the use of several individuals’ stolen identities. Money was then withdrawn from the fraudulent accounts in the form of cashier’s checks.
In one scheme, Alcantara provided a co-conspirator stolen identifying information belonging to an unsuspecting small business owner in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The co-conspirator used that information at a bank branch office in Rhode Island to request a transfer of $250,000 from the business account into a fraudulent account which was previously opened at the same bank. The account was opened using stolen identifying information of an individual who is deceased.
A bank employee was among the co-conspirators who assisted Alcantara in the scheme by gaining approval of a bank supervisor for the transfer of funds from the legitimate business account into the fraudulent account, knowing that the identifying information used was stolen. Once the transfer was completed, money was withdrawn from various branch bank offices around Rhode Island in the form of cashier’s checks by individuals using the deceased man’s stolen identifying information.
In a second scheme, Alcantara provided several co-conspirators with stolen identifying information of unsuspecting individuals which he instructed them to use to establish fraudulent bank accounts at several branch offices of the same bank. Alcantara also provided the co-conspirators with stolen identifying information of legitimate owners of existing accounts at the same bank and instructed his co-conspirators to transfer funds from the legitimate accounts into the fraudulent accounts.
According to the government’s evidence, at the same time that Alcantara was affecting the bank fraud schemes, he reached out to an individual he thought could assist him in obtaining fraudulent Massachusetts drivers licenses. The individual he reached out to was in fact an undercover DEA agent. The DEA agent, working in conjunction with U.S. Secret Service Agents who were investigating Alcantara and the bank fraud schemes and the passing of bogus $100 bills, recorded several conversations he had with Alcantara as he attempted to secure the fraudulent IDs.
Alcantara, who had been free on unsecured bond since his arrest and initial court appearance in February 2014, was ordered detained today by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. after the jury returned its verdict. Alcantara is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4, 2015.
Conspiracy to commit bank fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory sentence of 2 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, consecutive to all other sentences imposed. Conspiracy to pass counterfeit money is punishable by a statutory penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
Three individuals identified as co-conspirators in these matters previously pleaded guilty and scheduled to be sentenced.
Todd Quinter, 37, of Attleboro, Mass., pleaded guilty on March 28, 2012, to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 26, 2015.
Yoryis Luciano, 28, of Providence, the person identified as a bank employee who assisted in the first scheme, pleaded guilty on February 27, 2012, to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 26, 2015.
Zizi Stevens, 29, of Providence, pleaded guilty on April 5, 2012, to one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and identity theft. He failed to appear in court for sentencing on June 26, 2012. An arrest warrant has been issued for the defendant, who is believed to have fled the country.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert and Lee H. Vilker.
Prosecutors were assisted at trial by paralegal Kellyann Anderson.
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/