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DA: Big NYC fraud ring stole charity donors' info

December 16, 2011 3:13:06 PM PST
Some 55 people have been charged with forming a New York City fraud ring that used members' jobs at a prominent charity and other places to steal financial information from wealthy donors and customers.

Prosecutors say the scheme was shockingly-simple.

The defendants allegedly deposited money into their bank accounts, using counterfeit checks and phony debit cards with the account numbers of real people.

Account numbers stolen, prosecutors say, by people like Tracey Nelson.

Nelson is a former clerk at UJA-Federation who is accused of photographing charity donation checks with her smartphone and stealing credit card numbers off pledge forms.

She sobbed in court as the allegations were read.

Investigators say many are members of "The Bloods", "The Crips", and a Brooklyn gang known as "The Outlaws."

Among the more prominent UJA donors targeted, was billionaire investor, Ira Rennert and Hank Greenberg, the former CEO of AIG.

Prosecutors say the scheme had several insiders, including bank tellers, a car salesman, a realtor, and even a postal worker.

All, like Tracey Nelson were charged Friday with multiple counts of grand larceny.

"UJA-Federation suspended the employee on August 1, 2011, upon being identified by the District Attorney's office in connection with these activities," said a spokeswoman, "and the employee has been terminated."

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