NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for his role in a scheme to steal personal checks from the U.S. Mail and fraudulently endorse and deposit them into personal checking accounts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Karron Hinton-Lovelace, 28, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Judge McNulty imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Hinton-Lovelace and his conspirators stole blank checks that were sent via U.S. Mail to 122 unsuspecting victims. The defendants fraudulently endorsed the blank checks for a certain sum and deposited those checks into legitimate bank accounts that they opened at the victim banks, which included TD Bank, Bank of America, Capital One Bank, Garden State Community Bank, Hudson City Savings Bank, PNC Bank and Valley National Bank. Before the victims discovered the checks were stolen or the banks discovered the checks were fraudulent, Hinton-Lovelace and his co-conspirators had withdrawn the funds, either via ATMs or by entering the banks and filling out withdrawal slips. U.S. Postal Inspection Service and FBI agents obtained bank video surveillance, which captured many of the fraudulent deposits and withdrawals.
Hinton-Lovelace and his conspirators deposited $1,478,695 in fraudulent checks into y 258 different bank accounts. Their conduct resulted in a $648,194 loss.
In addition to the prison term, Judge McNulty sentenced Hinton-Lovelace to five years of supervised release. As part of his plea agreement, Hinton-Lovelace agreed to pay $648,194 in restitution to the victims.
Several of Hinton-Lovelace’s conspirators have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and been sentenced to prison terms for their roles in the scheme. Four defendants were sentenced in April 2013. Constance Bowles, 23, of Newark, was sentenced to 6 months in prison and six months in a halfway house. Garnet Hinton, 24, Union, and Keonnah McLean, 24, Newark, were each sentenced to 23 months in prison. Martell Arline, 23, of Newark, was sentenced to 36 months in prison.
Kurtis Steele, 27, of Irvington, was sentenced to 46 months in prison on May 29, 2013, and Guy Hicks, 51, of Newark, was sentenced to 36 months in prison on Oct. 9, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates; and special agents of the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Aquila Govan of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.