UNION COUNTY, NJ — A Union County man admitted to his role in a scheme to steal mail and use the stolen credit cards and pandemic relief debit cards that were inside to make $70,000 in purchases, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on Wednesday.
Jarid Brooks, 29, of Vauxhall, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi on Wednesday to three counts of an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail theft and bank fraud, and to defraud the U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury; one count of receiving stolen mail; and one count of bank fraud.
From July 2019 to Oct. 6, 2020, Brooks and his conspirators got credit cards stolen from the mail from a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, activated those credit cards, and then used them to make and try to make purchases without the cardholders’ authorization, including buying gift cards and electronics, according to documents filed in this case and statements made in court.
There were around $70,000 in losses to victims from fraudulent purchases made using their stolen credit cards, according to the investigation.
Brooks also schemed to fraudulently use more than $13,000 of funds pre-loaded onto Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury and sent in the mail pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), that were also stolen from the mail, according to court documents.
Brooks faces five years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $250,000 on the conspiracy and possession of mail theft charges. He also faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $1 million for the bank fraud charge.
Brooks originally was charged with Justin Brooks, 23, Kyle Williams, 38, and Kyjuan Hutchins, 23, also of Vauxhall, in October 2020. Williams has pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced. Justin Brooks and Hutchins have pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.
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Read More: Union Co. Man Admits Role In Scheme To Steal Mail, Credit Card Fraud