A Jamaica man and a Long Island woman have been busted for a scam that included depositing fake checks and then withdrawing cash before the checks bounced, prosecutors announced.
Milton Robinson, 27, of 110th Avenue, and Shaquanaisa Morris, 24, of Freeport are both charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property in the scam.
“The man and woman charged in this scheme allegedly victimized not only the banks where the account was held, but also individuals, who are now on the hook for the cash essentially stolen from the bank. Even after the culprits have been prosecuted, the victims will face years of financial adversity and fallout from the alleged scam.” District Attorney Richard Brown said.
According to the charges, Morris shared a joint checking account at Citi Bank with the victim. That account averaged a daily balance of less than $10, but on July 30, 2014, two withdrawals were allegedly made for $986 from a Chase Bank ATM in Queens. Less than 15 minutes later, a $976 money order was purchased with Morris’ debit card from a check cashing business, prosecutors said, and that money order was then cashed about 25 minutes later at a different check cashing place.
Video surveillance allegedly shows Morris and Robinson using her debit card to make the cash withdrawals at an ATM, and shows Morris purchasing the money order.
The six checks deposited into the Citibank account were allegedly drawn from a non-existing account at a different bank.
The next day, according to the district attorney, Morris deposited a check at an ATM at 6:12 a.m. made out to her and drawn from the account of a second victim for $1,400. Video surveillance allegedly shows Morris, with Robinson, withdrawing $1,000 from a different ATM at 6:20 a.m. and at 6:24 a.m. making another cash withdrawal for $1,200. But the second victim said she did not write the check and does not know Morris or Robinson.
Morris was arraigned on Aug. 6 and released on her own own recognizance. Robinson was arraigned the following day and currently being held on $30,000 bail. If convicted, both defendants face up to seven years in prison.