(WHTM) – Two men were charged in connection to a bank fraud operation that involved the impersonation of bank employees and customers which resulted in approximately $2 million in theft from both customers and financial institutions, according to Attorney General Michelle Henry.
Tyreese Lewis, 22 years old of Harrisburg, and Carl Gonzalez, 19 years old of Highspire, were arrested and charged with numerous counts of the following charges:
- Corrupt organizations
- Identity theft
- Bank consumer impersonation
- Access device fraud
- Computer trespass
- Related offenses
The Office of the Attorney General and the Pennsylvania State Police investigated the crime.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, investigators say that the defendants allegedly targeted financial institutions and consumers in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York Counties.
The Office of the Attorney General says that Lewis was arrested in Los Angeles, arraigned in Dauphin County, and incarcerated without bail.
Gonzalez was arrested Thursday, was arraigned, and bail was set at $10,000 unsecured, says the Office of the Attorney General.
“This was an elaborate scheme that involved impersonation of both bank employees and consumers to obtain personal information that enabled the defendants to steal millions of dollars,” Attorney General Henry said. “I commend everyone involved in the still-ongoing investigation, which began many months ago and included meticulous analysis of bank records and transactions. My office is committed to holding fully accountable everyone involved in this far-reaching scheme.”
According to the Office of the Attorney General, the investigation found numerous bank transactions that were fraudulent and subsequent purchases.
The defendants and co-conspirators withdrew the money and/or the debit card information to purchase gift cards in an attempt to hide the thefts, says the Office of the Attorney General.
These gift cards were used to make purchases at department/apparel stores, gas stations, and various other locations.
The AG’s office states that investigators seized several mobile devices which they analyzed and revealed hundreds of potential consumer targets and the investigators found communication about the theft scheme.
“All identity theft-related crimes cause significant financial stress for the victims, and often have long-term repercussions lasting months, if not years, to rectify,” said Pennsylvania State Police Captain James Cuttitta, Commander of the Special Investigations Division, Bureau of Criminal Investigation. “I’m proud of the work our investigators have done and thankful for the support from the Office of Attorney General.”