By: Yuritza Arroyo
Two Essex County men were sentenced yesterday and today for their roles in a scheme to steal credit cards, debit cards, and checks from the mail and use the stolen cards and checks to attempt over a million dollars of retail and online purchases, and cash withdrawals, federal officials announced today.
According to federal officials, Jahad Salter, 26, of Newark, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, and Hakir Brown, 28, Newark, was sentenced to 31 months in prison.
Officials say, Salter had previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and Brown previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Salter, Brown, and others engaged USPS employees to steal from the mail in exchange for compensation, credit cards, and debit cards.
Federal officials say, Salter and others engaged the same employees to steal checks, including federal stimulus payments issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to federal officials, once they obtained the stolen cards, Salter, Brown, and their conspirators unlawfully obtained the credit and debit card holders’ personal identifiers.
They used that information to fraudulently pose as the accountholders of the stolen credit and debit cards when calling the banks that issued the cards and used that personal identifying information belonging to the accountholders to obtain or change information about the stolen credit cards.
Officials say, they, and others, then used the stolen credit cards to make purchases at retail stores in New Jersey and elsewhere, including New York, and online.
They and others also negotiated stolen checks, obtaining cash.
According to Newark officials, in total, The scheme resulted in attempted losses of over $1 million.
In addition to the prison terms, Salter was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a forfeiture of $124,076.
Brown was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a forfeiture of $46,209.