N.Y. man allegedly withdrew money from Massachusetts residents’ bank accounts using fake passports

Crime

Authorities started investigating 40-year-old Jean Andre Bontiffe after he allegedly tried to go through airport security using a fake driver’s license bearing the name of one of the victims.

A New York man is facing charges after he allegedly withdrew money from Massachusetts residents’ bank accounts using fake passports, the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday. 

Authorities arrested 40-year-old Jean Andre Bontiffe in New York on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a press release. He is facing one count of making or using a forged passport, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Authorities began investigating Bontiffe after he was arrested in New York on Aug 9., 2022, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. He had tried to go through LaGuardia Airport security using a fake driver’s license bearing the name of one of the victims, according to authorities. 

An investigation into Bontiffe revealed that he had traveled to Massachusetts earlier that summer and allegedly stole a total of $13,800 from three victims’ bank accounts over the course of three days, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

In one instance on July 20, 2022, Bontiffe allegedly tried to withdraw $4,500 at a TD Bank in North Andover using a U.S. passport and a Discover card in the name of one of the victims as proof of identity. His signature didn’t match that of the victim’s, leading the bank to deny the transaction and confiscate the card and passport before he fled the scene, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Bontiffe faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison that must be served after any other prison sentences if convicted of aggravated identity theft. He could serve up to 40 years in prison and be fined as much as $500,000 if convicted on the other two charges. 

Bontiffe is due in federal court in Boston on Nov. 14. 


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