A Middlesex County identity thief collected $211,887 by forging a stolen U.S. Treasury check, federal authorities said Tuesday.
Federal agents arrested Bernard Lopez, 40, of Sayreville, in Florida on Monday, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
They charged him with bank fraud, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft.
Lopez “used a victim’s Social Security number and business documents pertaining to a sham business that he had created to open a fraudulent bank account in that business’ name,” Carpenito said.
He then altered a stolen U.S. Treasury check to be made payable to the sham business, deposited it into the bogus company’s account and withdrew the money before anyone noticed, the U.S. attorney said.
Carpenito credited special agents and task force officers of the U.S. Department of the Treasury-Office of Inspector General with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations for its assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Farhat of Carpenito’s Government Fraud Unit in Newark is handling the case.
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