NEWARK, N.J.– A Bronx, New York, man today admitted his role in a scheme to steal checks from the mail, alter them and deposit them in bank accounts he controlled, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
Alique Jordan Clarke, 21, of the Bronx, New York, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to receive and possess stolen mail.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
From February 2020 to November 2020, Clarke and two conspirators stole over 290 checks from mailboxes in and around Morris, Essex, Somerset, and Passaic counties, altered the stolen checks, and then deposited the altered checks into bank accounts controlled by Clarke and his conspirators. After the stolen checks were deposited, Clarke and his conspirators withdrew cash from the accounts totaling more than $550,000.
The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and the conspiracy to receive and possess stole mail carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, Philadelphia Division, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Blake Coppotelli of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit.