TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an Essex County man was indicted today on charges that he stole the identity of a bank account holder and fraudulently obtained a debit card in the account holder’s name that he used to make over $69,000 in purchases and withdrawals.
The Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Corey N. Blanton, 25, of Maplewood, N.J., with third-degree counts of impersonation/theft of identity, theft by deception, and fraudulent use of a credit card.
Blanton was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice which began when an investigator for Bank of America contacted the State Police about thefts involving the fraudulently obtained debit card. The investigation revealed that Blanton allegedly obtained personal information about the account holder that enabled him to order a new debit card and have it mailed to an address in Georgia. It is alleged that once Blanton received the debit card, he used it to make more than $69,000 in purchases and withdrawals in New Jersey and Georgia. Investigators identified Blanton as the man allegedly using the fraudulently obtained debit card and had a warrant issued for his arrest. Blanton was arrested in April 2017 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.
“In 2016, identity theft and credit card fraud caused more than $16 billion in losses to financial institutions and consumers,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The best way to deter this conduct is to vigorously investigate alleged fraudsters like Blanton and send them to prison.”
“In less than one month, Blanton allegedly racked up over $69,000 in fraudulent purchases and withdrawals,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Fortunately, the State Police and our attorneys were able to follow the money trail to Blanton and secure this indictment.”
“Victims of identity theft not only suffer from financial loss, but are also traumatized by the invasion of their privacy,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to aggressively pursue and arrest alleged criminals like Blanton, deterring others like him and hopefully offering some solace to their victims.”
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh presented the case to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Detective Robert Arnesen is the lead detective for the New Jersey State Police. DAG Huynh is assigned to the case with Deputy Attorney General Joseph Remy, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Julia S. Glass. Attorney General Grewal thanked Bank of America and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their valuable assistance.
Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Robert C. Billmeier in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Union County, where the defendant will be arraigned at a later date.
Attorney General Grewal and Director Elie Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free tip line 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to report corruption, financial crime and other illegal activities confidentially. Additionally, the public can log on to the Division of Criminal Justice webpage at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing.
Defense Attorney: Undetermined.
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