Twenty-three people were indicted Thursday for allegedly withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars at Atlantic City casinos from other peoples’ bank accounts.

Acting state Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced the charges that 23 suspects – 21 from New York, one from Pennsylvania and one from North Carolina — were involved in an elaborate scheme to impersonate people and withdraw $275,000 from their bank accounts – mostly from the casinos.

The suspects allegedly stole the money from 14 bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase Bank between February and September 2011. 

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The 23 people all face the charge of second –degree racketeering and will face five to 10 years in prison if convicted.

The three men alleged to have led the operation — Johnny Cobb, 31, of Jamaica, N.Y.; Nurlin Wright, 34, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Avery Jackson, 26, of Jamaica, N.Y. — were also charged with second-degree counts of conspiracy, theft by deception and money laundering. They recruited people to open bank accounts to deposit the money into, authorities allege.

“This is a complex case of financial fraud in which defendants based in Brooklyn, New York, allegedly traveled on a regular basis to Atlantic City to cash out the proceeds of their criminal scheme,” Hoffman said. “Criminals often use the casinos to launder money or further their financial schemes because large cash transactions are conducted there.

Hoffman said the case is an example of the outstanding work done by members of the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice who are assigned to investigate and prosecute financial crimes in the casinos.

The others charged in the case are Brooklyn residents Okee Wade, 36, Demetrious Jordan, 25, Esterlin Samuel, 27, Wayne Settle, 50, Joshua Mazyck, 24, Nathifa Bembrey, 31, Zulika Hosten, 23, Paul Winston, 23, Orquida Wade, 32, Javon Walker, 27, Shante Carpenter, 23, Nickecha Robinson, 23, of Brooklyn, Dashawn Lynch, 30, of Brooklyn, Julius Anderson, 23; Quanmik Wells, 23, of Cambria Heights, N.Y.; Jeffrey Grimes, 26, of St. Albans, N.Y.; Haverton Banks, 26, of Cambria Heights; Darrell Richardson, 27, of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.;  Catherine Kennedy, 33, of New York; and Raymond Springs, 50, of Reading, Pa.

Contact Joel Landau:


Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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