A.G. Schneiderman Announces Prison Term For White Plains Bank Teller Who Stole Customer Data In Identity Theft Ring
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced sentencing of Nadia Figueroa, 24, of the Bronx, to two to six years in state prison. Figueroa pleaded guilty earlier this year to stealing customer data while employed as a bank teller at a JP Morgan Chase in White Plains, as part of a brazen identity-theft ring. The ring stole over $850,000 from hundreds of consumers in Westchester County and New York City by fraudulently obtaining their personal information and creating fake identification cards to withdraw money directly from accounts.
“After abusing her position as a teller and taking advantage of the trust of bank customers, Nadia Figueroa will now serve serious prison time,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “While businesses and consumers must remain on guard against identity theft, New Yorkers should know that my office is looking out for them and will take action against anyone who steals their personal information.”
Figueroa was sentenced pursuant to her guilty plea to the 15-count indictment lodged against her in Westchester County Supreme Court before the Honorable Justice Barry E. Warhit, including four counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a Class D felony), seven counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree (a Class D felony), three counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a Class D felony), and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a Class E felony).
The identify-theft ring operated between July 2010 and June 2014. Corrupt bank tellers, including Figueroa, fraudulently accessed and stole personal information, including account numbers and Social Security numbers, from hundreds of customers at Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, TD Bank and Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) in Westchester County 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 result 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 $1,000 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: 43 North Plank Road, Newburgh, NY
Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the New York State Department of Financial Services and the White Plains Police Department for their assistance in this matter.
SOURCE: A. G. Eric Schneiderman