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Brooklyn Man Charged in Bergen County Scheme to Steal, Alter Checks from Mail

Bergen County

By: Richard L. Smith 

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today that a New York man has been charged with his role in a scheme to steal and alter checks from the mail and fraudulently obtain funds from banks by depositing the stolen and altered checks into accounts belonging to individuals other than the intended recipients.Real EstateFederal officials say Noah Aranzamendi, 25, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and the receipt and possession of stolen mail.

Aranzamendi was arraigned on May 9, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre in Newark federal court and was detained.

According to court documents and statements, from February 2020 to February 2022, Aranzamendi conspired with others to steal checks from the mail in Bergen County and elsewhere.

He sold the stolen checks to third parties or deposited them, sometimes in altered or duplicate form, into the bank accounts of complicit account holders who provided access to their accounts for the scheme.

Aranzamendi obtained stolen official USPS arrow keys, which he used to access mail and steal checks directly from USPS receptacles.

He and his conspirators then targeted the accounts associated with the stolen checks, creating false identifications in the names of the account holders to make fraudulent withdrawals.

The scheme resulted in losses to victims of at least $240,213.

The count of bank fraud conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

The count of receipt and possession of stolen mail carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss, whichever is greatest.

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