Final defendant sentenced in scheme that stole $3.7M in public assistance checks
Salifou Conde, the final member to be prosecuted of a ring that stole more than $3.7 million from the city Human Resources Administration during a three-year period, has been sentenced to 55 months in prison, according to the city Department of Investigation.
Conde and another defendant, Issiaga Sylla, worked for Deluxe Delivery Systems, which was contracted by the Department of Social Services to retrieve undeliverable DSS rent subsidy checks from the United States Post Office and deliver them to DSS headquarters.
These two defendants and three associates, who did not work for Deluxe, were involved in a scheme to steal more than 5,430 DSS checks totaling approximately $3.7 million between 2016 and 2019. The defendants deposited the stolen checks into more than 100 different bank accounts.
The city Department of Investigation worked in partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the New York State Department of Taxation (DTF) and Finance on this investigation.
DOI Acting Commissioner Daniel G. Cort said, “These defendants concocted a scheme to steal taxpayer funds rather than perform the job they were hired to do: safeguard and properly return City-issued public assistance checks to DSS. But investigators exposed their scheme and now they are paying the price of their illegal conduct.”
The co-defendants in this investigation have received the following dispositions:
• Conde, 32, of Jersey City, N.J., was convicted on June 29, 2021, after a four-day jury trial, of the federal offenses of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. He was sentenced Thursday, January 20, 2022, to 55 months and five years’ supervised release.
• Sylla, 34, of New York, N.Y., pleaded guilty on June 15, 2021 to one count of bank fraud and was sentenced on Nov. 19, 2021, to 18 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release.
• Sekhou Toure, of the Bronx, N.Y., pleaded guilty on May 6, 2020 and was sentenced on Sept. 3, 2020, to time served and six months in a halfway house.
• Abrahim Dukuray, of New York, N.Y., pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2020 and was sentenced on Feb. 25, 2021, to time served and six months of home confinement.
• Alseney Keita, 39, of the Bronx, N.Y. pleaded guilty on March 23, 2021 and was sentenced on Sept. 30, 2021, to 18 months in federal prison and five years of supervised release.
Acting Commissioner Daniel Cort thanked United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Division Michael J. Driscoll, DTF Acting Commissioner and General Counsel Amanda Hiller, and their staffs, for their joint work on this investigation.
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