A Union County, New Jersey, man admitted today to conspiring to commit bank fraud by soliciting U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employees to steal check books from the mail and depositing fraudulent checks.
Brian Previlon, 28, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig, beginning in summer 2019 through Oct. 22, 2019, Previlon conspired to fraudulently obtain money from victim financial institutions by, among other things, depositing checks stolen from the mail into accounts at victim financial institutions and withdrawing funds from those accounts before the victim financial institutions identified the fraudulent checks and blocked further withdrawals.
Previlon and his co-conspirators arranged for USPS employees to steal blank check books from the mail in exchange for cash payments.
USPS employees provided the checks to Previlon and his co-conspirators, who fraudulently forged the signatures of the accountholders and negotiated the checks by making them payable to individuals. Previlon and his co-conspirators obtained and attempted to obtain approximately $38,364 from victim financial institutions.
The conspiracy charge to which Previlon pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2021.
Previlon was previously charged with hindering apprehension by giving a false name to officers after Linden police detected the smell of burning marijuana coming from a parked vehicle where drugs and a handgun were found.