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Two Men Admit To $50K Department Store Fraud Scheme In Westchester

Two men pleaded guilty to identity theft and fraud in TJX stores.
Two men pleaded guilty to identity theft and fraud in TJX stores. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Two men admitted to their roles in a scheme to several department stores in Westchester out of more than $50,000.

Patrick Onogwu and Asanimo Risea, both of the Bronx, pleaded guilty for their part in a more than a year-long scheme that included using fraudulently obtained credit cards to steal from several Westchester County TJX Companies, Inc. stores, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods.

The two had been charged in a 54-count indictment along with Bronx resident Donald.

Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah said that between June 13, 2018, and Aug. 14, 2019, the suspects were part of a scheme to target TJX companies in Yorktown Heights, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Hartsdale, the Bronx, and elsewhere.

Rocah said that they stole more than $50,000 by opening TJX Rewards credit cards by using victims’ personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers, forging victims’ signatures on credit applications, and presenting forged United States passport cards and driver’s licenses as identification.

They then used these fraudulently obtained credit card accounts to purchase merchandise and then returned some of the stolen merchandise to other TJX stores to obtain cash refunds.

“This fraud scheme was detailed and extensive,” Rocah said. “But thanks to our law enforcement partners from the Westchester Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the victim’s retail crime investigative team, the fraud scheme was stopped.”

Onogwu and Risea have been ordered to pay restitution to the TJX Companies and Synchrony Bank and forfeited a 2013 Mercedes Benz SUV that was used to travel from store to store committing the fraud, as well as various electronic devices used to commit the fraud, and money in bank accounts that were used in connection with the scheme.

Two others, Hassan Miller and Dawn Anderson were sentenced in September last year to 1.5 to 4.5 years each in state prison following guilty pleas for their roles in the scheme.

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