Member of fraud ring arrested in Cazenovia

Morrisville College student believed to have ties to NYC-based bank fraud group

— The trio also allegedly created fraudulent checks that they deposited into other people’s bank accounts, then withdrew the money from the same accounts, knowing exactly when to withdraw the phantom funds (which was actually a withdrawal of the bank’s money) before the bank could discover the fraud.

Ultimately, no individual person or bank account lost money, the financial loss was suffered by the affected banks, Hayes said.

According to police information, the alleged incidents were first reported on March 21, when an M&T Bank customer reported four checks illegally drawn off his account — at values of $857.28, $821.05 and two at $984.32 — as well as several unauthorized ATM withdrawals at different locations including the Tops in Cazenovia, the Rite Aid in Cazenovia, the M&T Bank in Cazenovia and the Oneida Wal-Mart.

The victim, a Cazenovia College student, reported to police that he had gone out of town for the weekend and when he returned his bank card was missing from his dorm room.

According to police reports, surveillance cameras from the Oneida Wal-Mart showed a black male, age 18 to 25, using the bank card to withdraw a total of $900. He was accompanied by a second black male, age 18 to 25. The two men drove off in a dark red sedan that was driven by a third person who did not exit the car and was not seen on the surveillance cameras.

The next alleged incident occurred three days later, on March 24, when two checks were illegally drawn from an M&T Bank customer’s account for $811.67 and $833.92. According to police reports, surveillance videos showed the same two suspects using an unauthorized ATM card at the Cazenovia and Manlius M&T Bank branch locations.

In all, nearly $6,000 was fraudulently obtained in this case, according to police records.

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