Acting Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez on Thursday announced that nine alleged gang members and their associates have been arrested and charged with larceny in a check-forgery scheme that hoodwinked banks out of a total of $94,000.
According to reports, during certain periods between June 2014 and March 2016, the defendants recruited individuals as co-conspirators by having them open new accounts or providing them with personal information of existing accounts at Bank of America, TD Bank, Capital One and JP Morgan Chase, primarily in the Flatbush and Midwood sections of Brooklyn.
When the individuals deposited a fraudulent check into these accounts, the banks made a certain amount available, even before the checks cleared. The defendants and co-conspirators quickly withdrew the available funds before the checks were identified as fraudulent, causing monetary losses to the banks, according to the indictments.
“We now know that gang members are increasingly using financial fraud to pay for their lifestyle – like they allegedly did in the simple yet very lucrative scheme charged in these indictments,” said Gonzalez.
The defendants deposited a total of 241 allegedly counterfeit checks– primarily at ATMs– into 71 bank accounts and then made withdrawals.
The defendants have been identified as Trumane Gibbs, 23, of East Flatbush; Michael Morris, 21, of Crown Heights; Darnell Brown, 24, of Brownsville; Tevon Allen, 28, of Flatlands; Daquan Johnson, 24, of Flatbush; Timothy Brown, 23, of Ditmas Park; Jeffrey Debrosse, 27, of Midwood; Julian Hubbard, 21, of East Flatbush; and Jermel Belfast, 30, of Flatbush.
“We will continue to investigate and prosecute this facet of gang activity to get dangerous individuals off the streets and make sure stolen money isn’t used to fund violent acts,” Gonzalez said.