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Two scammers, part of a cybercrime ring that stole thousands of dollars by skimming credit cards, creating counterfeit checks; and fraudulently ordering credit reports to obtain additional information about victims were sentenced in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday. Both defendants, Rodriguez and Cunningham, pleaded guilty conspiring to commit fraud, criminal possession of a forged document, and identity theft. The Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said “Cybercrime and identity theft is a persistent, growing threat, but our state’s laws in this area are outdated.”

DA Vance announced the indictment of Lancine Conde, Sylvaine Gnahore, Gerald Quarles, Arshid Sohail, and Donald Williams for stealing more than $1 million in corporate, personal, and tax refund checks through a scheme that diverted checks made payable to individuals and companies to fraudulent accounts controlled by the defendants. They are charged in New York State Supreme Court with Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second and Third Degrees, Identity Theft in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. 

DA Vance announced the indictment of Carey Vaughn Brown, Ronald Beaver, and Joanna Temple, as well as 12 companies they operated and controlled, for engaging in a conspiracy to make multiple short-term, high-interest loans – known as “payday” loans – to Manhattan residents. The defendants are each charged in New York State Supreme Court with 38 counts of Criminal Usury in the First Degree and one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree.

A trail of money that began with triple-digit loans to troubled New Yorkers and wound through companies owned by a former used-car salesman in Tennessee led New York prosecutors on a yearlong hunt through the shadowy world of payday lending. On Monday, that investigation culminated with state prosecutors in Manhattan bringing criminal charges against a dozen companies and their owner, Carey Vaughn Brown, accusing them of enabling payday loans that flouted the state’s limits on interest rates in loans to New Yorkers.

DA Vance joined more than 50 members of the District Attorney’s Office at police precincts and police service area  around the borough in celebration of the 31st Annual “National Night Out.” District Attorney Vance visited nine police precincts and PSAs around Manhattan over the course of the evening. Members of the DA’s Community Partnerships and Crime Strategies Units, as well as Assistant District Attorneys from the Trial and Investigative Divisions, volunteered at every site throughout the borough.