Former Westchester County Employees Indicted In A Widespread Fraud Scheme at The Westchester County Center

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DiFiore_Janet - blue jacketMore than $195,000 Stolen Over a 3-Year Period

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore (pictured >>>) announced
that a year long investigation by the Westchester County Police and District
Attorneys Public Integrity Bureau into a scheme to defraud Westchester County
out of tens of thousands of dollars in parking revenue and MetroCard sales from
the Westchester County Center parking lot located at 198 Central Park Avenue in
the City of White Plains has resulted in the indictment today of three former County
employees.



SAMUEL_jahmai - WCDA - 092613<<< Jahmai
Samuel
(DOB 12/06/85)
of 1829 Yates Avenue, Bronx, New York was arraigned today on an indictment
charging him with:

  • * one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a
    class “C” Felony.


HARRIS_marcus - WCDA - 092613>>> Marcus
Harris
(DOB 03/10/84) of 5 Monroe Street, Mount Vernon,
New York
was arraigned today on an indictment charging him with:

  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a
    class “D” Felony.

Alessia
Velez
, (DOB 02/02/85) of 101-32 110th Avenue, Richmond Hill, New York was
arraigned today on an indictment charging her with:

  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a
    class “D” Felony. 

These defendants are the principal defendants in an
investigation resulting in charges against an additional twelve individuals.

In addition, Sha’Quay
Cheeseboro-Dennis
(DOB 06/22/90) of 150 South 7th Avenue, Mount
Vernon, New York was charged on August 27th by Felony Complaint
with:

  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a
    class “E” Felony.

These four defendants were all employees of the Westchester
County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation that operates the parking
facility.

The remaining eleven defendants are friends,
girlfriends, relatives or associates of the employees.

Over a three year period from August 13th, 2009 to
June 29th, 2012, these defendants were involved in a scheme that involved
employees at the parking lot selling full year, half year, or quarterly parking
permits to unsuspecting customers, who were told to write the check out to a “third
party”, rather than Westchester County.

Customers were told that these “third parties” had
lost their jobs, or moved and no longer needed their parking space and were
trying to recoup a portion of their parking permit fee. The names that the
customers were induced to write on the checks were usually one of the
defendants or a friend/family member.

The total theft includes the approximately $10,000
in cash Samuel took in Metro-North Railroad proceeds that were ostensibly
remitted by the County to Metro-North that the New York City Transit MetroCard
Fraud Unit was able to document.

In addition to the amounts deposited directly into their
own bank accounts, these defendants used the bank accounts of other individuals
to deposit additional stolen monies:

  • Jennifer
    Samuel,
    Jahmai’s sister,
    deposited $15,215 of stolen currency, charged with one count of Grand Larceny
    in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony,
  • Desrine
    Butler
    , Jahmai’s
    his step mother, deposited $11,015 of stolen currency, charged with one count
    of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony,
  • Annette
    Timothy, Jahmai’s
    aunt, deposited $20,190 of stolen currency, charged
    with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony,
  • Arthur
    Cowans
    and Hodnett
    Morrison
    , Jahmai’s friends,
    deposited $3,255 and $2,085 respectively of stolen currency, Cowans charged with one count of Grand
    Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony, and Morrison charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth
    Degree, a class “E” Felony,

Additional defendants, all Harris’ friends, in the
scheme are: 

  • Wayne
    Rutty,
    charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the
    Third Degree, a class “D” Felony for stealing $7,325,
  • Bejesca
    Matthew
    , Harris’ former
    girlfriend, charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a
    class “D” Felony for stealing $4,155,
  • Michaele
    Fortunat
    , charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the
    Third Degree, a class “D” Felony, for stealing $6,895,
  • Denisha
    Dennis
    , charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the
    Fourth Degree, a class “E” Felony, for stealing $2,170,
  • Antwon
    Pinney
    , charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the
    Third Degree, a class “D” Felony, for stealing $3,255.

The total larceny from all fourteen defendants is more
than $195,000.

Their cases are pending.

The scheme came to light last summer when Jahmai
Samuel was the victim of a gun shot robbery on June 29th, 2012, in The Bronx. When the NYPD questioned Samuels about why he was in possession of
$3,000 cash, he maintained that the money was customer parking cash receipts from
his job which “he forgot to take to the bank after work. 

The New York City shooting proved to be the
catalyst for this investigation in that it prompted questions as to how an
employee of the Westchester County Department of Parks came in to position of
that much cash representing parking proceeds.

“This type of criminal conduct serves only to erode
the public’s trust and confidence in its government,” said District Attorney
Janet DiFiore. “Alert policing by the NYPD and follow up detective work by the
Westchester County Police uncovered the extent and scope of the ongoing larceny.
What makes this scheme all the more egregious is that these defendants thought
that they could get away with their crime because they were stealing from some
nameless, faceless entity with limitless financial resources; when in actuality,
they were defrauding every taxpayer of Westchester County.”

Bail for Samuel was continued at $5,000 cash or
bond.

Bail for Harris was continued at $5,000 cash or
bond. 

Velez was released on her own recognizance. 

Their next court date is December 12,th 2013.

Cheeseboro-Dennis was released on her own recognizance.

Her next court date is October 1st, 2013 in White
Plains City Court.

Samuel faces a maximum sentence of fifteen years in
state prison.

Harris and Velez face a maximum sentence of seven years
in state prison.

Cheeseboro-Dennis faces a maximum sentence of four
years in state prison.

Assistant District
Attorney
Brian Conway, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau is prosecuting
the cases.

In
compliance with Disciplinary Rule 7-107A of the Code of

Professional
Responsibility, you are advised that a charge is

merely
an accusation and that a defendant is presumed

innocent
until and unless proven guilty.

 

eHeziFormer Westchester County Employees Indicted In A Widespread Fraud Scheme at The Westchester County Center

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