WHITE PLAINS, NY — Patrick Onogwu, 64, and Asanimo Riesa, 38, both of the Bronx, pleaded guilty today for their part in a more than yearlong scheme that included using fraudulently obtained credit cards to steal from several Westchester County retailers owned by TJX Companies, Inc., including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods.
The conspiracy, carried out from June 13, 2018, through Aug. 14, 2019, focused on a number of TJX Companies, Inc., stores, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and HomeSense, in Yorktown Heights, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Hartsdale, the Bronx and elsewhere.
Onogwu and Riesa, and their associates stole more than $50,000 opening TJX Rewards credit cards by using victims’ personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers, forging victims’ signatures on credit applications, and presenting forged United States passport cards and driver’s licenses as identification. The defendants then used these fraudulently obtained credit card accounts to purchase merchandise, and then returned some of the stolen merchandise to other TJX stores to obtain cash refunds.
“This fraud scheme was detailed and extensive,” DA Mimi Rocah said. “But thanks to our law enforcement partners from the Westchester Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the victim’s retail crime investigative team, the fraud scheme was stopped.”
Onogwu and Riesa have been ordered to pay restitution to the TJX Companies and Synchrony Bank and forfeited a 2013 Mercedes-Benz SUV that was used to travel from store to store committing the fraud, as well as various electronic devices used to commit the fraud, and monies in bank accounts that were used in connection with the scheme.
Patrick Onogwu and Asanimo Riesa were arraigned in Westchester County Court before Judge David S. Zuckerman on November 4, 2020. They were released from jail at the end of last year due to the bail reform law. Donald Ilo was never arrested, and there is a warrant out for him.
In the same case, defendants Hassan Miller, 47, and Dawn Anderson, 50, were sentenced in September 2020 to 1.5 to 4.5 years each in state prison after pleading guilty in November 2019 to Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony.
The case was before Judge David S. Zuckerman, AJSC, in Westchester County Court, and was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Stefanie DeNise.