Charged For Roles in a Nationwide “Felony Lane Gang” Scheme
September 9, 2020
Nine men have been charged in a 13-count indictment for their roles in a wide-ranging bank fraud and identity theft scheme that affected hundreds of victims, including significant activity in upstate New York.
The defendants were collectively involved in more than 700 smash-and-grab thefts and approximately 1,000 fraudulent bank transactions in the Northern District of New York and all over the country, with losses exceeding $1.5 million.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr., of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.
The nine defendants are: Tyrone Parker, Jr., 21, Of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Joshua Mallory, 35, Of Fort Lauderdale; Tyrone Parker, 39, Of Fort Lauderdale; Randall Taylor, 34, Of Fort Lauderdale; Cedric Lynch, 35, Of Orlando, Florida; Terrell Mcdonald, 30, Of Troy, New York; Keyshawn Arnold, 23, Of Schenectady, New York; Robert Natson, 34, Of Fort Lauderdale; and Gary Grier, 34, of Fort Lauderdale.
Each of the defendants is charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
As alleged in the indictment, the defendants were involved together in a fraud scheme known as “Felony Lane Gang.” Such schemes are characterized by members of the conspiracy using stolen identification from one victim to conduct fraudulent transactions using checks and credit cards stolen from another victim.
The mobile identity theft ring traveled across the country breaking into cars, often targeting those parked by women at locations such as health and fitness centers, daycares, outdoor recreational parks, and dog parks. After committing these “smash-and-grab” vehicle thefts, members of the conspiracy stole debit cards, credit cards, check books, and photo identifications, which they later used to commit bank fraud, sometimes even years later.
The leaders of the scheme recruited women, whom they often referred to as “faces,” to impersonate the smash-and-grab victims in drive-through bank lanes. The recruited check cashers were almost always suffering from an addiction to a controlled substance and were provided payment at least partially in narcotics.
If convicted of the charges set forth in the indictment, the defendants each face up to 30 years in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years on each aggravated identity theft count. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
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