PROVIDENCE, RI — Edmilson “2Fly” Rodrigues, 21, of Providence, has admitted his part in a “card cracking” fake check scheme that defrauded Rhode Island banks of about $1 million over six years.
The news was reported this afternoon by RI District U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman’s office.
A “card cracking” scheme involves a group creating counterfeit checks and recruiting bank account holders who allow deposits of the bogus checks and the use of their ATM cards to withdraw funds before the bank learns they’re counterfeit.
Rodrigues, a.k.a. “2Fly,” admitted he participated in duplicating “real checks” provided to members of the conspiracy by insiders at local law firms, social services agencies, and colleges.
According to information presented to the court, the bogus checks were deposited by Rodriques and others into actual bank accounts at bank branch offices in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. As part of the scheme, Rodriques and others quickly withdrew the funds, at times using stolen bank account and personal identifying information.
According to court documents, an investigation by Providence Police Detectives, the United States Secret Service, and the FBI determined that on at least 18 occasions between May 2013 and February 2019, members of the conspiracy deposited bogus checks and withdrew funds, defrauding banks of well over $100,000. The entire scheme is estimated to have defrauded local entities of nearly $1 million dollars.
Rodrigues acknowledged that he joined the conspiracy in June 2017, depositing bogus checks and then either withdrawing the funds or having others do so at his direction.
Rodrigues pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of bank fraud on Monday before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8, 2020.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William J. Ferland.