MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the results of a two-year long investigation that led to the convictions of four men who defrauded Capital One Bank out of more than $190,000.
Philip Thompson a/k/a “Dutch”, 29, of Hempstead, was arrested January 12 in Florida – and pleaded guilty today before Acting Supreme Court Justice Patricia Harrington to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony). The defendant is due back in court on May 17 and is expected to be sentenced to 1-1/2 years to three years in prison.
Dale Braithwaite a/k/a “D-Money”, 37, of Elmont pleaded guilty on February 14 before Judge Harrington to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony) and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree (an A misdemeanor). The defendant is due back in court on April 23 and faces a maximum of four years in prison.
Raymond Hughes, 26, of Hempstead, was arrested on October 13, 2017 and pleaded guilty on December 7, 2017 to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony) and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree (an A misdemeanor) before Acting Supreme Court Justice Helene Gugerty. The defendant is due back in court on May 18 and faces a maximum of four years in prison.
Osvaldo Fernandez, 35, of Passaic, N.J., was arrested on October 20, 2017 and pleaded guilty on January 9 to Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree (an A misdemeanor) before Judge Gugerty. The defendant is due back in court date on April 27 and faces a maximum of one year in jail.
“These defendants engaged in an intricate fraud scheme to steal more than $190,000 from Capital One Bank,” DA Singas said. “Working together, these defendants opened more than 50 bank accounts and through an elaborate ATM scam were able to steal money in small increments. I thank our prosecutors, investigators and Postal Service inspectors for bringing this scam to an end.”
DA Singas said from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016, the defendants recruited acquaintances to open Capital One Bank personal checking accounts in Nassau and Queens counties with an initial deposit of approximately $50.00 as part of the scheme. Shortly thereafter, usually $40.00 of the initial $50.00 was withdrawn from the account via an ATM transaction. Next, an individual, who may or may not be the account holder, conducted several balance inquiries of the account using an ATM, which generated a receipt.
A few days later one of the defendants called Capital One using the information on the receipt, and falsely reported that he made a cash ATM deposit into one of the accounts, and that the deposit was not properly credited to the account. Capital One provisionally credited the account and the amount that was deposited varied from $850.00 to $2,200.00.
Once the funds were provisionally credited to the account, they were withdrawn in one of two ways: participants in the scheme withdrew the funds via an ATM transaction or a teller transaction in Nassau County and elsewhere; or participants in the scheme used the debit card linked to the account to purchase United States Postal Money Orders from post offices. Once purchased, the money orders were given to various people who cashed them at another post office branch on the same day.
In total, the defendants opened more than 50 fraudulent bank accounts, causing Capital One to suffer a loss of more than $190,000.
Defendant Thompson is accused of acting as the ring leader, making over 100 fraudulent phone calls to Capital One and providing instructions to the co-defendants and when to make withdrawals.
The NCDA would like to thank the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their assistance in the investigation and bringing the case to our attention.
Senior Assistant District Attorneys Heidi Bausk and Betty Rodriguez of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case. Hughes is represented by Vincent Bianco, Esq., Braithwaite is represented by Donald Rollock, Esq., Fernandez is represented by Gregory Grizopoulos, Esq. and Thompson is represented by the law firm of Rha & Kim, LLP.