Tuesday's Tax Day "Mail-Fishing" Arrests in Glen Ridge Believed to be Part of Larger Essex County Crime Ring
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
GLEN RIDGE, NJ - Glen Ridge Police Chief Sheila E. Byron-Lagattuta announced the arrests this week of two individuals whom the Essex County Prosecutor's Office believe to be part of a larger crime ring across northern New Jersey.
Byron-Lagattuta explained that over the past year and a half, numerous Glen Ridge residents have reported mailed checks that were later found to be fraudulently deposited. The department's investigators believe that the checks were "fished-out" of local US mailboxes using household items such as shoe string, water bottles, and mouse trap glue.
On Tuesday, Apr. 17 - Tax Day - at about 2:40am, Glen Ridge Patrol Officers noticed a suspicious car near a US mailbox at the intersection of Ridgewood Avenue and Glen Ridge Parkway; a location which the department believes items were stolen from in the past.
According to the Chief, during a car search the officers found items commonly used for mailbox fishing along with "a large pile of mail stuffed under the passenger side door of the vehicle."
Officers investigated and discovered 24 pieces of mail which contained checks totaling over $116,000, the majority of which were being mailed to the IRS.
Two suspects were arrested and reportedly they later confessed to removing the mail from the mailbox.
The two were subsequently charged with:
Since Apr. 1, Glen Ridge Police have arrested a total of five suspects believed to be connected to the thefts.
Anyone with information is asked to contact:
Raymundo Hernandez, 36, Sentenced to 27 Months Jail Plus Payback of $2.6 Million for his role in IRS Tax Refund Fraud
NEWARK, NJ - Raymundo Hernandez, 36, of Bronx, NY, was sentenced to 27 months in prison today for pleading guilty to being the ringleader of a conspiracy that stole $2.6 million in United States income tax refund checks US Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Hernandez had previously pleaded guilty to the charge; he was sentenced by US District Judge Madeline C. Arleo in Newark federal court.
Stolen Identity Refund Fraud
Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) results in more than $2 billion in losses annually for the US and is a common type of fraud committed against the government. The schemes usually involve the following:
Facts Gathered from Case Documents and Court Statements
Fishman credited the following in leading to today’s sentencing:
The US Government is represented by: