NEWARK, N.J. – Five Paterson, New Jersey, men have admitted their roles in a scheme to steal checks worth more than $300,000 from U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail collection boxes throughout New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jerry Lake-Rodriguez, 26, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Co-defendants Ismael Alicea Jr., 26, Yerrisson Garcia-Rodriguez, 24, Brayan Ulloa-Ulloa, 24, and Johan Lake-Rodriguez, 27, previously pleaded guilty to separate informations charging each with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Jerry Lake-Rodriguez and his conspirators stole checks from USPS mail collection boxes in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, and Middlesex counties, and elsewhere, and fraudulently deposited them into various bank accounts, often within a day of being stolen. The stolen checks had a total value of over $300,000.
The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a penalty of a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Sentencing for Jerry Lake-Rodriguez is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Newark Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.