WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - An Ossining man pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges following a two-year investigation by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said Friday that 24-year-old Devante Rainey has pleaded guilty to individual counts of identity theft and criminal possession of a forgery device for his role in an elaborate scheme.
According to Scarpino, Rainey is a “prolific check forger” who had a distinct pattern. Rainey would purchase photographs of co-conspirators’ payroll checks, then use the routing numbers and checking account numbers on those checks to create forged checks using Versacheck small business software, Scarpino said.
Rainey then deposited the checks using a mobile deposit into his co-conspirators’ bank accounts, making the fraudulent activity one step further removed from him, Scarpino added. He used fictitious names and addresses on the checks to further confuse investigating law enforcement agencies.
In March, Scarpino said that search warrants were executed by his office on two locations Rainey was using as a forgery “mill,” one in Ossining, the other in Cortlandt. Scarpino said at the Cortlandt “mill,” shredded checks and other discarded evidence of check making were recovered in a dumpster. When Rainey was arrested, he was in possession of two forged checks.
Investigators utilized forensic analysis of phones and computers that were confiscated that revealed the fraudulent activity. Rainey was arraigned in Ossining on July 12 last year and in Cortlandt on July 18.
Rainey remains remanded to the Westchester County Jail. He is due to be sentenced in May, where he faces a maximum sentence of up to seven years in state prison.