A 23-year-old Connecticut man has admitted to stealing more than $162,000 from a woman's bank account by taking checks from her checkbook and forging her signature.
Gregory Ivy, of New Haven, pleaded guilty on Thursday, Sept. 15, to one count of bank fraud, according to Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Ivy began doing various jobs for a retired woman in 2018, and he started stealing checks from her checkbook in October of 2018, Avery said.
He wrote checks payable to himself, forged the woman's signature, and deposited them into his personal credit union account, the US Attorney's Office said.
Ivy also gave stolen blank checks with her forged signature to another individual, who cashed and deposited the checks, according to the report.
That individual recruited others, including Lamont Bethea, to cash or deposit stolen checks, Avery said.
Bethea used information from the checks "to arrange electronic funds transfers from the victim’s bank account to make payments for himself, his family members, and other friends or acquaintances," the US Attorney's Office said.
Ivy, Bethea, and other participants attempted to steal a total of $624,818.28 from the woman's bank account, Avery said.
Her bank account became overdrawn, and some check deposits were reversed, causing the victim to lose a total of $479,569.08, the US Attorney's Office said.
According to the announcement, Ivy personally stole $162,942 from the victim during the scheme.
Ivy was arrested on Nov. 8, 2021, and is released on $50,000 bond pending sentencing, which is set for Wednesday, Dec. 21, the report said.
Bethea pleaded guilty to fraud offenses related to the scheme and an unrelated scheme on Thursday, Sept. 1, and is also awaiting sentencing, Avery said.
An ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from Bank of America.
The National Elder Fraud Hotline, which provides services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud, can be reached at 833-372-8311.
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