Police And Department of Homeless Services Workers Involved in $1M Identity Theft Scheme In NYC

Defendant Charde Baker/ Credit Steven Hirsch

An investigation of an East Village ghost gun factory revealed a massive theft perpetrated by ten government workers, including one former NYPD officer, with plans to steal more than $1 million from New York City’s disadvantaged, officials said.

A Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigation led to four indictments charging 18 people with a number of offenses, including conspiracy to manufacture ghost guns, conspiracy to rip off the state’s pandemic benefits program, and residential burglary, all of which stemmed from a probe launched in 2022.

The New York Post reports,

District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement the fraud scheme was largely conducted by city workers, including several from the Department of Homeless Services, who “abused their position of public trust for personal gain.”

Other public servants caught up in the legal trouble included an NYPD school safety officer, an MTA worker, a NYCHA staffer, and a pair of US Postal Service employees.

Former NYPD officer and current DHS staffer Charde Baker, 35, along with an unnamed co-conspirator and other agency workers, are accused of stealing the identities of unsuspecting victims, including homeless residents under the city’s care, to take in hundreds of thousands of dollars through fraud.

Baker and the unnamed co-conspirator were the alleged ringleaders in the plot that submitted fake pandemic unemployment assistance claims to the state Department of Labor in the victims’ names.

After the claims were accepted, bank cards were issued and mostly sent to an Upper East Side address, where another unnamed co-conspirator, a postal worker, intercepted them and gave them to other defendants to access the stolen funds, prosecutors said.

Overall, 16 suspects, including five DHS employees, grabbed $1.2 million in payouts from the more than 170 false applications they sent in, the district attorney’s office said.

During Baker’s arraignment, the assistant district attorney told Manhattan Criminal Court that she spent the funds on high-end shopping and international vacations.

A co-defendant and Baker went on vacation together “where they clearly used money from the fraud on vacation to enjoy themselves,” Kelley said.

Shanice Roberts of the NYPD

 

Before she joined the NYPD, she and her boyfriend, who is also facing charges, planned a burglary after one of the other co-conspirators wasn’t sharing money from the sprawling scheme, Kelley alleged. Two men later broke into the apartment and took $30,000 in cash.

School safety officer Shenice Roberts is accused of ripping off seven victims with fraud claims for more than $140,000 sent to her home, in which she got a cut of the pie, Kelley said.

At one point when she asked Baker for help with claims, she allegedly said, “F these people. Put in a higher amount of income for them,” prosecutors said.

This might be a new level of government corruption.

source

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