Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said 47 people and 44 companies have been indicted in Middlesex County by a grand jury that charged them with participating in a large-scale international bank fraud ring that operated a multi-million-dollar scheme to steal from banks and corporations.
The defendants were indicted in New Brunswick on October 5, 2016 following an intensive investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office; the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Division; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force; the New Jersey Division of Taxation; the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department, and municipal police departments in Carteret, Edison, Linden, Perth Amboy, South Amboy, South Plainfield, Spotswood, and Woodbridge.
The 16-page indictment was the result of an on-going investigation that was initiated by the Perth Amboy Police
Department in what began as a routine traffic stop.
During the investigation, it was determined that the motorist was part of the bank fraud ring, which engaged in the intricate international financial scam.
It further was determined that the leader, Carlos Alcantara, 26, of South Amboy, and numerous associates created companies for the sole purpose of duping unwitting companies and individuals to wire significant sums of money to newly-established, but fraudulent corporate bank accounts.
The investigation showed that companies and individuals were targeted though e-mails purportedly sent by co-workers in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Florida.
The e-mails would convey a sense of urgency and cite a previous invoice or on-going project to lend credibility to the scam.
These tactics were designed to persuade the recipients to act quickly and proceed with the transactions without question.
As a result, the recipients were duped into losing amounts ranging from $50,000 to $450,000.
The investigation further determined that Alcantara and his associates had fraudulently obtained more than $2 million in U.S. currency and fraudulently wired more than $15 million from victims’ accounts.
The defendants were indicted on charges including racketeering, conspiracy, financial facilitation of criminal activity, promoting organized street crime, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, misconduct by a corporate official, falsifying records, failing to file tax returns, filing fraudulent tax returns and , and serving as a leader of organized crime.
The indictment was handed up following testimony and evidence presented to the grand jury by Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Russell Curley.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ryan Tighe , Special investigations Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3300, or Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Brad Greenberg under the direction of Special Agent in Charge, Terence S. Opiola at (973) 776-5500.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the defendants in this case are presumed innocent until proven guilty.