NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted conspiring to defraud two banks of more than $250,000 using stolen credit cards and blank checks, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Allen Varice, 24, of East Orange, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From August 2018 through August 2019, Varice and others engaged in a scheme to use stolen credit cards and checks to fraudulently make purchases and withdraw money from two banks, leaving the banks to bear the losses.
The credit cards were stolen from facilities used by the U.S. Postal Service in Pine Brook and Warren, New Jersey. Because the cards were stolen, they never reached the intended cardholders. After obtaining the stolen cards, Varice and his conspirators used them to make unauthorized purchases at various retail stores and to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) in New Jersey and elsewhere.
The blank checks were also stolen from various New Jersey-based postal facilities and never reached their intended recipients. Varice and his conspirators altered the date, payee, and amount of the stolen checks prior to deposit. He and his conspirators would then fraudulently withdraw money at various ATMs from the account holders’ accounts.
Three of Varice’s conspirators – his brother, Alexander Varice, Nasheed Jackson, and Dashawn Duncan – pleaded guilty last month to identical charges and are scheduled to be sentenced in July 2021.
The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for August 18, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, in Newark, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.