Essex County Man Admits Unlawfully Possessing Firearm and Conspiring to Defraud Banks of Over $250,000 Using Stolen Credit Cards and Blank Checks

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NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man today admitted illegally possessing a firearm and conspiring to defraud two banks of $250,000 using stolen credit cards and blank checks, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Tamir Duval, 22, of Newark, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an indictment charging him with one count of illegal possession of a firearm, and to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On July 27, 2020, Duval unlawfully possessed a Taurus PT740 semi-automatic handgun loaded with seven hollow nose rounds of ammunition. The firearm had been reported stolen from Gastonia, Georgia. Duval was previously convicted in Essex County Superior Court of receiving stolen property, a felony under state law.

From August 2018 through January 2020, Duval and others engaged in a scheme to use stolen credit cards and checks to fraudulently make purchases and withdraw money from two banks, leaving the banks to bear the losses of the scheme.

The credit cards and blank checks were stolen from various New Jersey-based postal facilities and never reached their intended recipients. Duval and his conspirators use the credit cards and checks to make unauthorized purchases at various retail stores and withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATMs) in New Jersey and elsewhere. Duval and his conspirators altered the date, payee, and amount of the stolen checks prior to deposit and then fraudulently withdrew money at various ATMs from third-party account holders’ accounts.

Five of Duval’s conspirators – Nasheed Jackson, Alexander Varice, Dashawn Duncan, Allen Varice, and Qshaun Brown-Guinyard – previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing.

The charge of illegal possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 20, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II; the East Orange Police Department, under the direction of Chief Phyllis Bindi; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins in Newark; and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Blake Coppotelli of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

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