An Irvington Township man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to steal check books and credit cards from the mail, deposit fraudulent checks, including pandemic relief checks, and use stolen credit cards without authorization, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Federal officials said Jeffrey Bennett, 27, of previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today by videoconference.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From February 2019 to May 2020, Bennett conspired to fraudulently obtain money from victim financial institutions by depositing counterfeit checks and checks stolen from the mail into accounts at these financial institutions and withdrawing funds before the financial institutions identified the fraudulent checks and blocked further withdrawals.
Bennett and his conspirators arranged for U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees to steal credit cards and blank check books from the mail in exchange for cash payments.
USPS employees provided the checks to Bennett and his conspirators, who forged the signatures of the accountholders and negotiated the checks by making them payable to individuals, some of whom were New Jersey high school students, who had given Bennett and his conspirators access to their accounts, also in exchange for cash.
Bennett and his conspirators obtained and attempted to obtain approximately $366,000 from victim financial institutions.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Bennett to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $61,438.