An Essex County man today admitted to conspiracy to commit bank fraud by soliciting U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees to steal checkbooks and credit cards from the mail, depositing fraudulent checks, including pandemic relief checks, and using stolen credit cards without authorization, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
According to federal officials, Jahaad Flip, 20, of Newark, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From February 2019 to May 2020, Flip conspired to fraudulently obtain money from victim financial institutions by, among other things, depositing counterfeit checks and checks stolen from the mail into accounts and withdrawing funds from those accounts before the financial institutions identified the fraudulent checks and blocked further withdrawals.
Flip and his conspirators arranged for USPS employees to steal credit cards and blank checkbooks from the mail in exchange for cash payments. USPS employees provided the checks to Flip and his conspirators, who forged the signatures of the accountholders and negotiated the checks by making them payable to individuals.
Some of these individuals were New Jersey high school students who had given Flip and his conspirator's access to their accounts in exchange for cash. Flip and his conspirators also created counterfeit checks, including counterfeit pandemic relief checks.
They deposited the fraudulent checks online and at various bank ATMs throughout New Jersey and later withdrew funds from the bank accounts before the victim's financial institutions identified the checks as fraudulent.
Flip and his conspirators obtained and attempted to obtain approximately $280,000 from victim financial institutions.
One of Flip’s conspirators, Tashon Ragan, pleaded guilty before Judge Wigenton last week to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and is due to be sentenced on September 20. Charges are still pending against two other conspirators, Jeffrey Bennett and Janel Blackman.