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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 25, 2019

NYPD Detective Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud

Michael Bonanno and Co-Conspirator Attempted to Steal Hundreds of Thousand of Dollars From Multiple Victims

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MICHAEL BONANNO, a New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) detective, pled guilty today to his role in a bank fraud scheme that used stolen checks and bank account numbers from New York-based victims.  BONANNO pled guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud before U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.  Bonanno’s co-conspirator, Domenic Aiello, previously pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman on January 4, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Instead of upholding his duty to investigate and enforce the law, Michael Bonanno, who was at the time a detective in the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers unit, broke the law by brazenly attempting to swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars from residents of New York.  I commend the FBI and the Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD for their outstanding work in this investigation.”

According to the Information and Complaint filed in this case, other public filings, and statements made during the plea proceeding:

BONANNO is an NYPD detective and was a member of the NYPD Crime Stoppers unit, which receives and investigates anonymous tips about criminal activity from members of the community.

From November 2016 to March 2017, BONANNO and Aiello stole and attempted to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank accounts of multiple New York residents in two ways.  First, on over 20 occasions, BONANNO and Aiello made payments on BONANNO’s mortgage and credit card bills using stolen account information from various victims.  Second, on at least 15 occasions, BONANNO and Aiello attempted to deposit fraudulent and stolen checks in BONANNO’s bank accounts. 

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BONANNO, 44, who resides in Staten Island, New York, pled guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  Each count carries a maximum term of 30 years in prison.  BONANNO is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Gardephe on April 26, 2019.  The maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD in this investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicolas Roos and Danielle R. Sassoon are in charge of the prosecution.          

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
19-014
Updated January 25, 2019