Two New Jersey Men Arrested for Mail Theft/Bank Fraud Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man and an Essex County, New Jersey man were arrested in connection with two criminal complaints charging them with scheming with U.S. Postal Service employees and others to commit mail theft, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Yaseen Salih, 24, of Iselin, New Jersey and Adeeb Salih, 29, of East Orange, New Jersey, were charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit mail theft and to possess stolen mail, and aggravated identity theft. Yaseen Salih was arrested today and made his initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge André M. Espinosa and was detained. Adeeb Salih remains at large. Hakir Brown, 27, of Newark was arrested today and charged by way of a separate complaint with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit mail theft and to possess stolen mail, and aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance tomorrow.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

USPS employees Khadijah Banks Oneal and Ashley Taylor stole envelopes containing credit cards, checks, and U.S. Treasury checks from the mail.  From Dec. 12, 2020, to July 31, 2021, Taylor sold stolen mail to Yaseen Salih; from Jan. 30, 2020, until her arrest on July 28, 2021, Banks Oneal sold stolen mail to Jahad Salter and Dashaun Brown and supplied stolen mail to Hakir Brown. Yaseen Salih and Adeeb Salih, Hakir Brown, Salter, and Banks Oneal, fraudulently posed as the accountholders of stolen credit cards, called the banks that issued the stolen credit cards, and used personal identifying information belonging to the accountholder, to obtain or change information about the stolen credit cards. They then used the stolen credit cards to, among other things, make purchases at retail stores in New Jersey and elsewhere, including New York and online, resulting in attempted losses of over $300,000. Adeeb Salih deposited stolen checks into bank accounts that were under his control to obtain the checks’ proceeds. 

The charges of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud each carry a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. The charges of mail theft and possession of stolen U.S. Mail, and conspiracy to commit that offense, each carry a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, which must be served consecutively to any sentence imposed for bank fraud, and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

The following defendants were also charged in late July and early August 2021 in connection with this scheme:

 

 

 

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, Newark Division; and special agents of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Area Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, District of New Jersey, under the direction of Marshal Juan Mattos Jr.; the U.S. Secret Service, New York Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Freaney; the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Mid-Atlantic Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew S. McKay; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina; the Livingston, New Jersey Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gary Marshuetz; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Department of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara; the Essex County, New Jersey Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura; the New Providence, New Jersey, Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Theresa A. Gazaway; and the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police Jason Massimino, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara F. Merin of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

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