Four plead guilty to scamming $190K from bank
From left: Osvaldo Fernandez, 35, Philip Thompson aka “Dutch”, 29, Dale Braithwaite aka “D-Money”, 37, Raymond Hughes, 26 || photo courtesy of Nassau County DA
Four men pleaded guilty in a scheme that defrauded Capital One Bank out of more than $190,000, authorities said.
The pleas come after a two-year long investigation out of the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.
The defendants “engaged in an intricate fraud scheme,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said, in a statement.
“Working together, these defendants opened more than 50 bank accounts and through an elaborate ATM scam were able to steal money in small increments,” she added.
Considered the ring-leader, Philip “Dutch” Thompson of Hempstead was arrested Jan. 12 in Florida and pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree scheme to defraud. He 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 “D-Money” Braithwaite of Elmont pleaded guilty on Feb. 4 to first-degree scheme to defraud and fifth degree conspiracy. He is due back in court on April 23 and faces a maximum of four years in prison.
Raymond Hughes of Hempstead was arrested on Oct. 13, 2017, and pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to first-degree scheme to defraud and fifth degree conspiracy. He is due back in court on May 18 and faces a maximum of four years in prison.
Osvaldo Fernandez of Passaic, N.J., was arrested on Oct. 20, 2017, and pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to fifth degree conspiracy.
Officials said that from Jan. 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, the defendants recruited acquaintances to open Capital One Bank personal checking accounts in Nassau and Queens counties, initially depositing about $50, but sometimes more. They then typically withdrew $40 from the account, using an ATM. Next, an individual, who may or may not be the account holder, conducted several balance inquiries of the account using an ATM, generating a receipt.
Several 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. That deposited amount could vary from as much as $850 to $2,200.
Once the funds were credited to the account, they were sometimes withdrawn either by an ATM or teller transaction. Or they were withdrawn through a scheme using the debit card linked to the account to purchase U.S. Postal Money Orders from post offices.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.
According to officials, Thompson, acting as the ring leader, conducted more than 100 fraudulent phone calls to Capital One and provided instructions to the co-defendants that determined when to make withdrawals.
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