Three charged in conspiracy to steal checks from mail and defraud banks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware

inspectorCAMDEN, N.J. – A woman and two men from Camden were charged today for their alleged participation in a scheme in which they stole business checks from the U.S. Mail in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, altered them, and cashed them using a series of conspirators, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Ivory Vernon, 29, was arrested today by Camden County Sheriff’s officers on unrelated charges. She is being charged federally in a 10-count indictment that was unsealed today with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The indictment also charges Joseph Reevey, 38, with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud; and Ibn Muhammad, 35, with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and illegal possession of a firearm. Vernon, Reevey, who is in Pennsylvania state custody, and Muhammad, who is in federal custody, are all scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court on April 9, 2014.

According to indictment unsealed today:

From Aug. 6, 2012, through Aug. 1, 2013, Muhammad, Reevey, Vernon and others stole checks from curbside U.S. mailboxes in business industrial parks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Reevey and his conspirators would then recruit others to cash the stolen checks. Muhammad and other conspirators would alter the stolen checks so that the name of the “payee” would match the name of the recruited check casher. Reevey, Vernon, Warner and others would travel with the recruited check cashers to a bank, often in rented cars.

Muhammad, Reevey, Vernon and their conspirators cashed or attempted to cash more than 45 stolen and altered business checks worth more than $200,000. The scheme resulted in a total loss of more than $100,000 to the victim banks.

Muhammad’s illegal gun possession charge stems from the discovery of a Smith & Wesson revolver and a Browning pistol at his Camden residence when law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant in May of 2013.

On the counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, Muhammad, Reevey, and Vernon each face a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense. On the count of illegal possession of a gun, Muhammad faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Philadelphia Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge David Bosch; troopers from the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes; special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives under the leadership of Acting Special Agent in Charge George Belsky, and officers from the Gloucester Township and Pennsauken Township police departments for the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

Read more: USDOJ: US Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey.