TRENTON –Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that a Maryland man was indicted on charges that he stole $469,364 by depositing a check stolen from a Georgia corporation into the bank account of a shell company he created in New Jersey with the same name. He then ran the funds through multiple shell companies before withdrawing them as cashier’s checks and cash.
The Division of Criminal Justice obtained a state grand jury indictment on Dec. 8, 2017 charging Darrell Williams, 57, of Suitland, Maryland, with the following crimes:
- Impersonation (2nd degree),
- Theft by Deception (2nd degree), and
- Money Laundering (2nd degree).
Williams is being sought as a fugitive on an arrest warrant issued in connection with the indictment. The indictment stems from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
It is alleged that Williams obtained a $469,364 check that was payable to a company based in Atlanta, Ga. The check was mailed to the company but was intercepted before the company received it. Williams allegedly created a corporate entity in New Jersey with the same name, opened a bank account for the company, and deposited the check into that account, which he controlled. Williams allegedly used a stolen identity and a fictitious driver’s license to open the account. He allegedly transferred $232,921 of the stolen funds to two other shell company accounts he controlled. The funds were then allegedly sent to five other shell companies, before eventually being withdrawn as cash or cashier’s checks in amounts of $5,000 to $6,000. Williams allegedly used a second false identity as signatory for the bank account of one of those shell companies, again presenting a false driver’s license. The original check was issued from a Wells Fargo bank account, and after learning the real payee never received it, Wells Fargo blocked a third wire transfer for $105,702 that Williams allegedly attempted to make from the fraudulent payee account he opened. Wells Fargo alerted U.S. Postal officials the check had been intercepted, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice.
“Williams allegedly devised an elaborate scheme involving shell companies, stolen identities and multiple bank accounts to steal and launder almost half a million dollars,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Fortunately, we were able to follow the money and identify Williams as the alleged perpetrator. I thank the US Postal Service for their invaluable assistance in this case.”
“Bank fraud can result in the loss of huge sums of money, as this case illustrates,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We’ll continue to use our expertise and devote the resources necessary to unravel these cases of sophisticated financial fraud and bring those responsible to justice.”
Deputy Attorney General Derek Miller presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. The investigation was conducted by Detective James Gallo and Analyst Rita Gillis of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, and Postal Inspector Brian MacDonald of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Attorney General Porrino also thanked Wells Fargo Bank for its valuable assistance.
Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Gloucester County, where Williams will be ordered to appear in court at a later date for arraignment on the charges.
Defense Attorney: Undetermined.
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