NEWARK, N.J. – Twelve people have been charged for their participation in a scheme to steal and alter checks from the mail and engage in bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Aaron Llody Northern, a/k/a “Bossdon Butta,” 28, of Reisterstown, Maryland; Corey Bond, a/k/a “Teddy Brown,” 27, of New York, New York; Tyrell Baker, 23, of the Bronx, New York; Andre Tyrone Wallace, 31, of the Bronx, New York; Michellian Thompson, 34, of the Bronx, New York; Achiel Morgan, a/k/a “Ace Skrap,” 22, of the Bronx, New York; Quinton Sessions, a/k/a “Q Doggy Widda Hoddie,” 27, of the Bronx, New York; Brian Adjavon, a/k/a “CarlosSlimm,” a/k/a “sasuforever,” 30, of the Bronx, New York; Dashawn Danforth, a/k/a “Shawn Moneyy Marley,” 31, of Staten Island, New York; Simone Cordero, 29, of the Bronx, New York; Stephanie Lee Sanchez, 25, of New York, New York; and Hans Pierre, a/k/a “hustlehans,” 32, of Brooklyn, New York; were each charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy (Count One), one count of conspiracy to receive and possess stolen mail (Count Two); and one count of conspiracy to possess and receive interstate altered securities (Count Three).
Northern, Sessions, Adjavon, Danforth, and Pierre were also charged with one count of money laundering conspiracy (Count Four), and Northern and Cordero were additionally charged with one count of aggravated identity theft (Count Five).
Baker, Thompson, Morgan, Adjavon, Danforth, Sanchez, Cordero, and Wallace were arrested today and are scheduled to appear by videoconference before the U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III this afternoon. Northern was arrested this morning in Maryland and is scheduled to appear in the District of Maryland on Oct. 23, 2020. Bond, Sessions, and Pierre have not yet been arrested.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In 2018 and 2019, the defendants and others conspired to steal checks from the mail, alter the payee and/or amount written on the stolen checks, possess and transport the stolen and altered checks outside of, or into, New Jersey, through interstate commerce, and deposit the checks into bank accounts to take money that did not belong to them. Some of the defendants then laundered the stolen money by concealing it through different financial accounts.
Surveillance footage shows certain defendants and others stealing mail from U.S. Postal Service collection boxes in Newark. After stealing checks from the mail, defendants and others, including Adjavon and Cordero, altered and deposited the checks into other people’s bank accounts. The stolen money was then transferred to another account or withdrawn as cash. The victims include the New Jersey branch of a non-profit network of public charter schools, which experienced fraudulent activity on its bank accounts after placing checks in the mail.
Count One carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Counts Two and Three each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim, whichever is greater. Count Four carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater. Count Five carries a mandatory term of two years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, along with a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice to pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim, whichever is greater.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Raimundo Marrero; the U.S Postal Inspection Service New York Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Phil Bartlett; the U.S. Secret Service Long Island Resident Office, under the direction of Resident Agent in Charge Steven Choma; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Washington Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Peter Rendina; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, the Co-Op City Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Chief Joseph R. Riley; and the New York City Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Dermot Shea; with the investigation and arrests.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie L. Hoxie of the Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint against the defendants are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Tyrell Baker: Michael V. Calabro Esq., Newark
Andre Tyrone Wallace: Geoffrey St. Andrew Stewart Esq., New York
Michellian Thompson: James A. Plaisted Esq., Hackensack, New Jersey
Achiel Morgan: Blair R. Zwillman Esq., Morristown, New Jersey
Brian Adjavon: Gary Mizzone Esq., Little Falls, New Jersey
Dashawn Danforth: Adalgiza A. Nunez Esq., Newark
Simone Cordero: Jacqueline E. Cistaro Esq., Red Bank, New Jersey
Stephanie Lee Sanchez: Joseph Rubino Esq., Union, New Jersey