Two Essex County Men Arrested for Fraudulent Debit Card Scheme
NEWARK, N.J (STL.News) Two Essex County men were arrested today for their roles in a fraudulent debit card scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Alateef Perry, 43, of Newark, and Rajohn Dawkins, 25, of Irvington, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Both defendants are scheduled to make initial appearances this afternoon by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From July 2019 through March 2020, Perry and Dawkins fraudulently used debit cards in the names of other individuals, without the cardholders’ consent or knowledge, to purchase diesel fuel for commercial truck drivers in exchange for cash. Perry and Dawkins met commercial truck drivers at multiple gas stations in New Jersey, including gas stations located in Hanover and Middlesex. Perry and Dawkins used the unauthorized debit cards to fill the drivers’ commercial trucks with diesel fuel. The truck drivers then typically paid Perry and Dawkins a fraction of the fuel’s purchase price in cash, which Perry and Dawkins pocketed. Perry and Dawkins used over 500 unauthorized debit cards and ultimately stole over $220,000.
The charge of conspiracy to commit access device fraud carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison and a maximum potential fine of $250,000, or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Mark McKevitt, with the investigation leading to today’s arrests. She also thanked inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins; the Township of Hanover Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark D. Roddy, and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura, for their assistance with this investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha C. Fasanello of the Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.