BY BRIAN BONILLA & ANDRES RODRIGUEZ
Nine alleged Brooklyn gang members were indicted Wednesday as a part of a bank larceny scheme totaling some $94.000 in counterfeit checks.
“The defendants in this case thought they could make a quick buck with some bad checks,” said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill at a press conference. ‘But when you look at the balance sheet, with 241 counterfeit checks and $94,000 in illegal proceeds, you see for these nine defendants, who face up to seven years in prison that crime does not pay.”
The indictment alleges that the defendants induced people to open new accounts or obtainned personal information for already open accounts at TD Bank, Bank of America, Capital One and JP Morgan Chase.
The banks make a certain amount of money available right away when customers deposit checks. The defendants withdrew money immediately after depositing the counterfeit checks before anyone could figure out the check were fake, affecting the actual account holders.
Between June 2014 and March 2016 the defendants allegedly deposited 241 counterfeit checks into 71 bank accounts and made withdraws of over $94,000.
Five of the acused counterfeiters — Michael Morris, 21, of Crown Heights; Darnell Brown, 24, of Brownsville; Tevon Allen, 28, of Flatlands; Jeffrey Debrosse, 27, of Midwood; and Jermel Belfast, 30, of Flatbush — were arraigned before Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun.
The remaining four defendants — Trumane Gibbs, 23, of East Flatbush; Daquan Johnson 24, of Flatbush; Timothy Brown, 23, of Ditmas Park; and Julian Hubbard, 21, of East Flatbush – still were being sought.
Authorities said that Gibbs and Morris were members of the gang called Bosses in Business, a subset of the 8-Tray Crips; Johnson and Brown members of the Flatbush G-Stone Crips; Hubbard is a member of the Folk Nation Gang and some of the rest of the defendants allegedly associated other street crews.