A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea And Prison Term For Bank Teller Who Stole Customer Data In White Plains
Nadia Figueroa Faces Up To 6 Years In Prison For Stealing Over $850,000 From Personal Bank Accounts Of Innocent Customers
Schneiderman: Identity Theft Is A Growing Problem, But We’re Committed To Taking Aggressive Action Against Anyone Who Steals Consumers’ Personal Information
WESTCHESTER — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the conviction of Nadia Figueroa, 24, of the Bronx, who pleaded guilty to stealing customer data while employed as a JP Morgan Chase bank teller in White Plains, as part of a brazen identity-theft ring that targeted customers of local banks. The ring stole over $850,000 by using bank tellers to fraudulently obtain the personal information of hundreds of unsuspecting customers, and then creating fake identification cards to withdraw money from the accounts.
“This defendant used her position as a bank teller to rip off customers who entrusted her with their personal, financial information,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Identity theft is a growing problem, but we’re committed to taking aggressive action against anyone who victimizes New Yorkers in this way. Businesses and consumers can know that my office is looking out for them.”
Figueroa pleaded guilty today in Westchester County Supreme Court before the Honorable Justice Barry E. Warhit, to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a Class D felony). In exchange for her plea, Justice Warhit agreed to sentence Figueroa to 2 to 6 years in state prison.
The scheme’s ringleader, Tyrone “Reese” Lee, as well as defendant Anthony “Sug” Davis also pleaded guilty to their roles in this ring last month.
The identify-theft ring operated between July 2010 and June 2014. Corrupt bank tellers, including Figueroa, fraudulently accessed and stole the personal information, including account numbers and Social Security numbers, from hundreds of customers at Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, TD Bank and Wachovia in Westchester and New York City.
Figueroa’s role in the fraud scheme was to use her position as a bank teller at the JP Morgan Chase bank branch located at 235 Main Street, White Plains, Westchester County, to target customers with common names and over $50,000 in their accounts. She would copy this customer data and smuggle it out to her co-conspirators who used it to create fraudulent checks and identification documents. These fake documents were then used to impersonate account holders and to withdraw money at bank branches in Westchester County, New York City and Long Island, as well as Connecticut and Massachusetts.
This prosecution was the culmination of a long-term investigation by the Attorney General’s Crime Proceeds Strike Force, which included the use of court-authorized wiretaps and search warrants. In intercepted telephone calls and text messages, co-conspirators spoke in code about customer accounts, which they referred to as “joints,” and to the “bands” of money they would steal, referring to $1000 stacks of cash. They also used code names to refer to the banks they targeted, including “touchdown” for TD Bank and “Yase” for JP Morgan Chase.
Figueroa and her co-conspirators also victimized customers at other bank branches, including the following:
JP Morgan Chase: 410 South Broadway, Yonkers, NY;
JP Morgan Chase: 5 West Burnside Avenue, Bronx, NY;
Bank of America: 206 Main Street, White Plains, NY;
HSBC: 1 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY;
Bank of America: 50 West Fordham Road, Bronx, NY;
Bank of America: 479 North Broadway, Jericho, NY; and
Wachovia (now Wells Fargo): 43 North Plank Road, Newburgh, NY
Figueroa is scheduled to be sentenced to her prison term on May 14, 2015.
Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the New York State Department of Financial Services, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, and the White Plains Police Department for their assistance in this matter.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Tyler Reynolds and Rhonda Greenstein of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary T. Fishman and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Meryl Lutsky and Stephanie Swenton. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.
The investigation was conducted by Legal Support Analyst Theo Davidson, Investigators Steve Pratt, Vincent Gisonti, Sylvia Rivera, Ismael Hernandez, Ryan Fannon and Dave Negron and Larry Riccio, Senior Investigator Dennis Maddalone, Supervising Investigator John Sullivan, and Deputy Chief Investigators John McManus and Greg Stasiuk. The Investigations Division is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.