NEWARK, N.J. – Four Union County, New Jersey, men were arrested today for their roles in a conspiracy to steal mail and possess stolen mail, including credit cards and pandemic relief credit cards, fraudulently use the stolen credit cards without authorization, and defraud the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jarid Brooks, 27, Justin Brooks, 21, Kyjuan Hutchins, 21, and Kyle Williams, 35, all of Vauxhall, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with conspiracy. They are scheduled to appear by this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From July 2019 to August 2020, Williams allegedly stole credit cards from the U.S. mail in the course of his employment for the U.S. Postal Service, provided those credit cards to Jarid Brooks, Justin Brooks, and Hutchins, and the defendants thereafter fraudulently activated those credit cards and then used those credit cards to make and attempt to make purchases without the cardholders’ authorization, including buying gift cards and electronics. The investigation to date has revealed that the victims have incurred over approximately $80,000 in intended and actual loss from fraudulent purchases made using their stolen credit cards. The defendants also schemed to fraudulently use over $11,000 of funds pre-loaded onto Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury and sent in the U.S. mail pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that were stolen from the mail.
The conspiracy charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn; special agents with the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, Northeast Area Field Office; and special agents with the Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay, with the investigation leading to today’s arrests. He also thanked the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the Caldwell Police Department, the Fairfield Police Department, the Boonton Police Department, and the Millburn Police Department.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.