South Amboy man indicted as alleged leader of massive financial fraud case


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Forty seven people and 44 companies were indicted in Middlesex County on Oct. 5 by a grand jury that charged them with participating in a large-scale international bank fraud ring that operated a multi-million-dollar scheme to steal from banks and corporations.

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The 16-page indictment was the result of an ongoing investigation that was initiated by the Perth Amboy Police Department in what began as a routine traffic stop, according to a statement prepared by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

During the investigation, it was determined that the motorist was allegedly part of the bank fraud ring, which engaged in the intricate international financial scam.

It further was determined that the reported leader, Carlos Alcantara, 26, of South Amboy, and numerous associates allegedly created companies for the sole purpose of duping unwitting companies and individuals to wire significant sums of money to newly-established, but fraudulent, corporate bank accounts, Carey said.

The investigation reportedly showed that companies and individuals were targeted though emails purportedly sent by co-workers in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Florida. The e-mails would convey a sense of urgency and cite a previous invoice or ongoing project to lend credibility to the scam, Carey said.

These tactics were reportedly designed to persuade the recipients to act quickly and proceed with the transactions without question, according to the statement. As a result, the recipients were duped into losing amounts ranging from $50,000 to $450,000.

The investigation further determined that Alcantara and his associates had allegedly fraudulently obtained more than $2 million in U.S. currency and fraudulently wired more than $15 million from victims’ accounts.

The defendants were indicted on charges including racketeering, conspiracy, financial facilitation of criminal activity, promoting organized street crime, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, misconduct by a corporate official, falsifying records, failing to file tax returns, filing fraudulent tax returns and serving as a leader of organized crime.

The defendants were indicted following an intensive investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office; the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Newark Division; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Marshals New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force; the New Jersey Division of Taxation; the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department; and municipal police departments in Carteret, Edison, Linden, Perth Amboy, South Amboy, South Plainfield, Spotswood and Woodbridge.

Anyone with information should call Detective Ryan Tighe of the Special investigations Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-3300, or Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Brad Greenberg under the direction of Special Agent in Charge, Terence S. Opiola, at 973-776-5500.

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