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Three Nassau men charged in bank scheme, DA says

Three Nassau men, and another from New Jersey, have pleaded guilty to defrauding Capital One Bank of up to $190,000 by falsely claiming they had deposited money into accounts and withdrawing funds when the bank provisionally credited the accounts, officials said.

The last of the four defendants, Philip Thompson, 29, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty Thursday before acting State Supreme Court Justice Patricia Harrington to first-degree scheme to defraud, according to a news release from Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas.

“These defendants engaged in an intricate fraud scheme to steal more than $190,000 from Capital One Bank,” Singas said. “Working together, these defendants opened more than 50 bank accounts and through an elaborate ATM scam were able to steal money in small increments. I thank our prosecutors, investigators and Postal Service inspectors for bringing this scam to an end.”

Prosecutors said some of the defendants had opened accounts in Nassau and Queens with about $50 and then withdrew some of it at automated teller machines. They then visited ATMs and made balance inquiries on the accounts to generate a receipt and then, a few days later, called bank employees and claimed that they had deposited sums of between $850 and $2,200, officials said.

Someone in the alleged scheme then withdrew funds that had been temporarily deposited in the accounts by bank officials, who trusted the account holders were telling the truth when they reported their deposits, officials said.

Thompson, whom prosecutors described as the ringleader of the scheme, was arrested in Florida on Jan. 12, the news release said. He is due back in court on May 17 and is expected to be sentenced to 1 1⁄2 years to 3 years in prison, officials said. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Dale Braithwaite, 37, of Elmont pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to first-degree scheme to defraud and fifth-degree conspiracy. He is due back in court on April 23 and faces a maximum of 4 years in prison, officials said. His attorney, Donald Rollock of Mineola, declined to comment on the case, saying there were a number of legal issues to be sorted out.

Raymond Hughes, 26, of Hempstead, was arrested on Oct. 13, 2017, and pleaded guilty on Dec. 7, 2017, to first-degree scheme to defraud and fifth-degree conspiracy. He is due back in court on May 18 and faces a maximum of 4 years in prison, officials said. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Osvaldo Fernandez, 35, of Passaic, New Jersey, was arrested on Oct. 20, 2017, and pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to fifth-degree conspiracy. He is due back in court on April 27 and faces a maximum of 1 year in jail, officials said. His attorney could not be reached for comment

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