NEWARK, NJ – An Essex County, New Jersey man was convicted today for his role in conspiring with at least one United States Postal Service (USPS) employee and others to steal credit cards mail and then steal the victims’ identities in order to use the stolen cards to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in retail and online purchases, US attorney Vikas Khanna said.
Dashaun Brown, 28, of Newark, was convicted of four counts against him: conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, receipt and possession of stolen mail, and aggravated identity theft in connection with a bank fraud, after a week-long trial before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in federal court in Newark. Brown was acquitted of one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated impersonation.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Dashaun Brown, Jahad Salter, 29, and Hakir Brown, 28, hired USPS employees, including Khadijah Banks-Oneal, 31, to steal credit cards from the mail in exchange for compensation. Once they obtained the stolen cards, Dashaun Brown and his conspirators impersonated the holders of the stolen credit cards when they called the card-issuing banks and used personally identifying information belonging to the holders. accounts to activate cards and obtain or change stolen credit card information. They then used the stolen credit cards to make purchases at retail stores in New Jersey and elsewhere, resulting in attempted losses of over $1 million.
Salter, Hakir Brown and Banks-Oneal have previously pleaded guilty to their respective roles in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing. Salter pleaded guilty on April 12, 2022 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and being a felon in possession of a firearm, and his sentencing is scheduled for August 30, 2022. Hakir Brown pleaded guilty on August 25, 2022. February 2022 conspiracy. for committing bank fraud, and his sentencing is scheduled for July 7, 2022. Banks-Oneal pleaded guilty on March 30, 2022 to receiving bribes as a federal employee, and he is expected to be sentenced on August 10, 2022.
The charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud each carry a maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million. The charge of receiving and possessing stolen mail carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence, which must run consecutively to any other prison sentence imposed. Sentencing is scheduled for September 6, 2022.
United States Attorney Khanna credited United States Postal Inspection Service postal inspectors in Newark, under Postal Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, Philadelphia Division; and Special Agents from the U.S. Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Region Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Modafferi, the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict. today. He also thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, District of New Jersey, under Marshal Juan Mattos Jr.; the United States Secret Service, New York Field Office, under Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Freaney; the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Mid-Atlantic Field Division, under Special Agent in Charge Andrew S. McKay; the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Field Office, under Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina; the Livingston, New Jersey Police Department, under Chief Gary Marshuetz; the Newark Police Department, under Department of Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara; Essex County, New Jersey Sheriff’s Office, under Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura; the New Providence, New Jersey Police Department, under Chief of Police Theresa A. Gazaway; and the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Police Department, under Chief of Police Jason Massimino, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara F. Merin and Elaine K. Lou of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.