On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, it was announced that two men had been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to steal more than $2 million in stock certificates from an apartment belonging to a deceased Manhattan woman. The defendants are accused of using the stolen assets to attempt to purchase more than $2 million worth of gold coins.
Stephen Decker and Luis Mercado were arrested Wednesday morning in Manhattan. According to the Indictment, from March 2016 to February 2017, Mercado and Decker engaged in a scheme with the intention of stealing more than $2 million from a deceased woman from Manhattan. The defendants allegedly stole stock certificates worth more than $2 million from the victim’s Manhattan apartment after the victim’s death in March of 2016.
In August of 2016, a financial institution opened a brokerage account in the victim’s name based on false representations made by Mercado and Decker. The defendants allegedly deposited the stolen stock certificates into that account. In September of 2016, the financial institution sold the shares based on additional false representations made by Mercado and Decker. This resulted in the account having a cash balance of more than $2 million.
The defendants allegedly tried to use the account assets to purchase more than $2 million in gold coins. 59-year-old Stephen Decker of Secaucus, New Jersey and 53-year-old Luis Mercado of Manhattan, New York were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. More information can be found here.