Counterfeit Check Cashing Scheme Lands Newark Man in Jail for 6 Years

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announce today that Karif Hyder, 36, of Newark was sentenced to six years in New Jersey State Prison yesterday by the Honorable Mark Ali, Judge of the Superior Court, for his role in a $700,000 counterfeit check cashing scheme that compromised numerous government agencies.

Hyder created fraudulent checks and distributed them to others who negotiated them.

He drove the people around in his truck and gave the participants a portion of the check money after they cashed the checks. In all more than $767, 335 in fake checks were negotiated.

The case was brought to the attention of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit by the New Jersey State Police after counterfeit checks were being negotiated against the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority account as well as the East Orange municipal pay roll.

Hyder's vehicle was linked to the crimes after he was observed driving co-conspirators to banks to cash the fake checks.

When a search warrant was executed at his home, detectives found among other things, a tremendous amount of checks, printers, computers, check paper, check software programs, various identifying cards, and various office supplies, according to Assistant Prosecutor Cynthia Teller, who handled the case.

A search warrant for his vehicle used to further the check fraud was also executed. In addition to cell phones, officers found in the truck various counterfeit checks from various businesses and entities.

In addition to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the city of East Orange payroll, a total of 50 accounts were compromised, including the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center, Essex County WorkFirst, Essex County Correction Inmate Trust, Community Educations Inc. Resident Account for Delany Hall and Logan Hall, Youthbuild Newark, Inc.

Authorities said on Sept. 25, 2017 Hyder entered a guilty plea to first degree money laundering, third degree conspiracy to commit forgery, second degree trafficking in personal identifying information and third degree possession of forgery devices.

Yesterday he was sentenced to six years for those crimes. In addition to the prison sentence, Hyder must pay restitution.

“The investigation revealed that this criminal activity had been occurring over a period of time dating back to at least 2013,’’said Assistant Prosecutor Teller.

Acting Prosecutor Laurino lauded the New Jersey State Police and the other cooperating agencies for their assistance in the investigation which lead to Hyder’s arrest and conviction.