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Man charged with scheme to steal checks and defraud banks

NEWARK, NJ – A Bronx, New York, man was charged for his participation in a scheme to steal and alter checks from the mail and engage in bank fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Claude Anthony Burnett, 23, is charged by complaint with one count of bank fraud conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to receive and possess stolen mail. He was scheduled to appear by videoconference Friday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from at least February 2020 to November 2020, Burnett and others conspired to steal checks from mailboxes in and around Morris, Essex, Somerset, and Passaic counties, alter the stolen checks, and deposit the altered checks into bank accounts controlled by Burnett and his conspirators. To date, the investigation has identified over 140 checks with a face value of over $600,000 that have been stolen, altered, and deposited in accounts controlled by Burnett and his conspirators.

The count of bank fraud conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million; the count of conspiracy to receive and possess stolen mail carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim, whichever is greater.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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