TRENTON - Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that two men were indicted today for their alleged roles in a so-called “Black Money Scam” in which the defendants allegedly attempted to steal more than $75,000 from someone that they believed to be an unsuspecting victim by falsely promising an amount of money several times the amount of money that the victim fronted to the defendants.
Nyondah L. Blay, a.k.a. John Blay, 38, of Trenton, and Carl Jenkins, 36, of Philadelphia, PA, were each charged with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree attempted theft by deception.
“This indictment should serve as a reminder – if a quick money-making scheme appears too good to be true, it probably is,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “And to con artists who seek to take advantage of New Jersey citizens, the sting operation in this case shows that you never know who is on the other end of the transaction.”
“The Division of Criminal Justice will continue to partner with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as local police departments, to catch scam artists like these defendants,” said Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig.
The state grand jury indictment alleges that between Jan. 31, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2013 the defendants attempted to steal more than $75,000 by creating the false impression that they possessed real U.S. currency that was dyed black and that could be extracted using chemicals. An investigation determined that the defendants allegedly claimed that they had hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. currency that was dyed black to avoid detection as the money was smuggled out of their war-torn country of Liberia. The defendants allegedly asked a victim to supply several tens of thousand dollars for the purchase of expensive chemicals needed to extract the dye from the bills. It is alleged that the defendants promised to pay the victim an amount of money several times what the victim fronted once the dye was extracted. The defendants were arrested on Feb. 1 in Cherry Hill when they allegedly took possession of several thousand dollars from the alleged victim. In this type of scheme, once the transaction is completed, the normal scam entails the defendants then absconding with the victim’s money and the victims being left with worthless paper.
The men were arrested as a result of a sting operation conducted jointly by the Division of Criminal Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Detective Anne Hayes was the lead detective for the Division of Criminal Justice. Deputy Attorney General Peter Gallagher of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau presented the case to the state grand jury. Director Honig thanked from the Division of Criminal Justice’s Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and the Gangs & Organized Crime Unit, as well as officers of the Cherry Hill Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in the investigation and arrest.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Attorney General Chiesa and Director Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a confidential, toll-free tipline for the public to report financial fraud, corruption and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. The public also can log on to the Division Web site at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.