Five New Jersey residents stand accused of using fake money orders, cashier’s checks, receipts and other documents to fraudulently pay off multiple mortgages and obtain several luxury cars.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the group’s alleged conduct caused more than $3 million in losses.
Melissa Reynolds is charged by complaint with three counts of conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud, two counts of bank fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and one count of making false statements to the United States.
Additionally, Germaine King is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of making false statements to the United States.
Henry James and Arthur Martin are both charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud, and Daniel Dxrams is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Reynolds, King, James, Martin, Dxrams, and others used the fake financial documents to fraudulently discharge their debts or other obligations.
In one example, in March 2013, Reynolds allegedly obtained a $417,276 mortgage from an entity referred to as “Financial Institution One” for the purchase of a home in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
According to the complaint, in May 2014, Reynolds sent a fake money order in the amount of $432,000 to “Financial Institution One” to be used to pay off the mortgage. The money order falsely claimed to have been issued or processed by the Internal Revenue Service.
Making matters worse, the unnamed financial institution’s mortgage business erroneously accepted the fraudulent payment and credited it as a payoff for her mortgage. The financial institution even mailed Reynolds an overpayment refund of $9,789.
Eventually, the financial institution realized what had happened, and filed a lawsuit seeking to reinstate the fraudulently discharged mortgage. But Reynolds and King continued to allege in court that the mortgage had been paid and even submitted a fake receipt for the fake money order.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Reynolds and others tried to use the same scheme to discharge other mortgages, including Reynolds’ second residence in Newark, the residence of an individual in Bowie, Maryland, James’ residence in Hillside, New Jersey, and Martin’s residence in West Orange, New Jersey, but were unsuccessful.
Reynolds also allegedly tried to fraudulently discharge more than $52,000 in student loans with fraudulent money orders and cashier’s checks.
In one case, Reynolds allegedly sent a fraudulent $67,000 cashier’s check to the Department of Education’s processing company, but the payment was rejected.
Reynolds, King, and Dxrams also allegedly conspired to fraudulently obtain several luxury cars in similar fashion.
An example: Reynolds allegedly sent a bogus $101,000 cashier’s check to a finance company that enabled Dxrams to obtain a 2012 Bentley. Dxrams then sold the car to a third party for approximately $85,000 and then issued a bank check to King for approximately $25,000. They also allegedly used this scheme in an effort to fraudulently obtain two Mercedes-Benz cars.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Additionally, the mail fraud and mail fraud conspiracy charges are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
The false statement charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.