Sayreville Man Charged with Stealing, Altering US Treasury Check

Federal Officials announced that a Middlesex County man has been charged with bank fraud, theft, and identity theft.

According to a statement released by federal officials, Mr. Bernard Lopez, 40, of Sayreville, is charged by complaint with one count of bank fraud, one count of theft of government funds, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Federal officials said he was arrested on July 6, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren F. Louis in the Southern District of Florida, and is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre later this week.

According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On October 5, 2019, Lopez used a victim’s Social Security number and business documents pertaining to a sham business that he had created to open a fraudulent bank account in that business’ name.

Lopez then fraudulently obtained a U.S. Treasury check, which was fraudulently altered to be made payable to the sham business in the amount of $211,887 and deposited it into the account.

Lopez then either withdrew or transferred the stolen proceeds from the fraudulent business bank account before anyone could detect the fraud.

The bank fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of the greatest of $1 million or twice the gain derived from, or loss caused by the offense.

The theft of government funds charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gain derived from, or loss caused by the offense.

The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory term of imprisonment of two years, which must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed.