Union County Man Charged with Armed Robbery of Business Owner

A Union County man was arrested and charged today for allegedly robbing a New Jersey business owner at gunpoint in February 2019, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

According to federal officials, Mr. Raymond Scura, 29, of Kenilworth, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court.

Officials say Scura previously was arrested and charged in March 2019 with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the complaints and other documents filed in this case:

In February 2019, Scura was a customer of an internet-based business owned and operated by the victim. Scura wrote at least one fraudulent check to the victim to pay for the services of the business.

When the victim insisted on cash payment, Scura drove with the victim to a bank, where Scura brandished a firearm, threatened to kill the victim, and demanded that the victim deposit a fraudulent check into the victim’s bank account and withdraw the same amount of money as set forth in the check.

Scura led the victim to an ATM, where he directed the victim to insert the victim’s bank card into the ATM, asked for the victim’s PIN, input the PIN himself, and deposited the check. Scura then led the victim to a teller, where the victim withdrew the money as directed. Scura and the victim left the bank, where Scura demanded, at gunpoint, that the victim hand him the money withdrawn at the bank.

Scura was charged by complaint in March 2019 with allegedly defrauding various individuals and entities by obtaining and attempting to obtain merchandise, services, and cash. In some circumstances, Scura obtained goods and services, including a country club membership, limousine services, luxury hotel expenses, wine, and a Rolex watch, by charging such items to credit card accounts that were not his own and which he did not have authorization to access or use.

Scura also wrote and presented personal checks both in his own name and in the name of victims from accounts Scura knew were either closed or held insufficient funds to cover the checks.

The count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. The Hobbs Act robbery charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.

The wire fraud affecting a financial institution charge carries a statutory maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and the aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.