Thursday, March 28, 2024

NY Crime Ring Swiped, Resold 45 Cars Using Key Info Discovered Online During COVID Pandemic, AG says; Former Eastern Iowa Woman Sentenced for Pandemic Loan Fraud, and other C-Virus related stories

NY crime ring swiped, resold 45 cars using key info discovered online during COVID pandemic, AG says:
ech-savvy crooks stole 45 cars in New York with forged keys and info from illegal websites – then shipped the vehicles as far as the Caribbean for resale, prosecutors said.
Four thieves and five accomplices were sentenced for a large-scale scheme that unfolded in the Big Apple and Westchester County during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, state Attorney General Letitia James said Monday.
All nine of the suspects have since pleaded guilty to the long-running scheme — dubbed “Operation Master Key” — and were sentenced Friday in Bronx Supreme Court by Judge Guy Mitchell, James said in a statement.
Norberto Pena Brito, 38, Jose Lebron Pimentel, 42, Dariberto Fernandez Perez, 33, and Hector Rivera, 54, were linked to the enterprise that ran from April to October of 2020 – and at times involved reselling the cars in the Dominican Republic, James said.
They are accused of scoping out cars — primarily targeting Hondas, before obtaining the key-code information through illegal websites and creating keys that allowed them to breach and steal the vehicles, the top prosecutor said.
Once they accessed the cars, they managed to reprogram the vehicles’ computer systems and gain complete control – disabling their alarms and starting the engines, according to James.
They also allegedly managed to reprogram the stolen cars to keep them from recognizing the true owners’ electronic keys.
Pena Brito, who was charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the second degree and conspiracy in the fourth degree, faces up to three years in state prison and was ordered to pay nearly $40,000 in restitution, officials said. --->READ MORE HERE
Former eastern Iowa woman sentenced for pandemic loan fraud:
Applying for phony pandemic loans is sending a former Cedar Rapids resident to federal prison.
Diamond Davies, 24 and now from Maple Grove, Minnesota, has been sentenced to six months behind bars after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa says the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act was enacted in late March 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance, including Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan funds, to the millions of Americans who were suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Davies was accused of helping to facilitate approximately 50 fraudulent PPP loan applications with a total value of approximately $1 million. Of these fraudulent PPP applications made during a two-month period in 2021, over 30 were successful, and the government and its participating lenders lost over $600,000. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Four Years Later, Covid Isn’t Done With Us

Life expectancy rises for first time in two years — but child deaths are spiking

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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