Bridgeport man admits role in fraud scheme

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Eric Watkins, 26, of Bridgeport, pled guilty in New Haven to one count of mail fraud in connection with a stolen check scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Mr. Watkins was involved in a scheme with his cousin, Dayquan Jackson, also known as “Quan” and “DaeDae,” in which Mr. Jackson and others stole mail from residences in Fairfield County throughout 2013 and 2014 in order to obtain either blank checks or credit card “convenience checks.”

Mr. Jackson and others then used some of the stolen checks to purchase cars, motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles listed for sale on the Internet from unsuspecting victims in surrounding states. Some of the stolen checks also were provided to “runners” who deposited the checks into their bank accounts. Mr. Jackson and others then withdrew the funds from the accounts.

In December 2013, Mr. Watkins sent via FedEx a fraudulent check stolen from the mail of a Connecticut victim to an unsuspecting individual in New Jersey who had posted an all-terrain vehicle for sale on Craigslist, for the purpose of obtaining the vehicle.

Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for Feb. 19, 2015, at which time Mr. Watkins will face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Mr. Watkins was arrested on Aug. 22. He currently is released on bond. Mr. Jackson has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with substantial assistance from the Connecticut Financial Fraud Task Force and the Greenwich, Fairfield, Wilton and Bridgeport Police Departments, as well as law enforcement in New Hampshire. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Silverman and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.

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