NEWARK, N.J. – Two New Jersey men were today sentenced to prison terms for their respective roles in using phony monetary instruments to obtain luxury vehicles and other high value items; one of the defendants was additionally convicted of bankruptcy fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Germaine Howard King, a/k/a “Germaine Howard,” 47, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was sentenced to 70 months in prison, and Daniel D. Dxrams, currently known as “Daniel Kusi,” formerly known as “Danny D. Dxrams,” 41, of Maplewood, New Jersey, was sentenced to 57 months in prison. U.S. District Judge John Michael Vasquez imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.
King was convicted for his role in a scheme to defraud banks and other lenders using phony money orders to fraudulently discharge a $400,000 mortgage, to fraudulently obtain two Mercedes Benz (one 2007 and one 2010) cars, and to pay off credit card bills. In addition, King was convicted of a scheme to use phony cashier’s checks to pay off his co-defendant’s five luxury cars.
Dxrams was convicted for his role in a scheme to fraudulently pay off a Rolls Royce, Bentley, and three Mercedes Benz cars (two 2015 cars and one 2016 car). In addition, Dxrams was convicted of bankruptcy fraud and making a false oath during a bankruptcy proceeding.
Two co-defendant were sentenced by Judge Vasquez on Dec. 18, 2019: Melissa Reynolds, 43, of Elizabeth, who previously pleaded guilty to an information charging her with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud affecting financial institutions, and bank fraud, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, five years of supervised release, restitution of $587,081 and forfeiture of $548,242; Arthur N. Martin 3rd was sentenced to time served (one day), three years of supervised release and fined $12,000.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
King conspired with Reynolds to make fraudulent money orders on their home computers. They mailed these phony money orders to a credit union in an effort to fraudulently pay off their two Mercedes Benz cars. Although the credit union rejected both bogus money orders, King and Reynolds mailed correspondences to the credit union falsely claiming that the debt was satisfied. They then stopped paying their car loans, and King kept the car. King and Reynolds mailed a fraudulent money order in the amount of $432,000 to a financial institution to pay off their mortgage. The financial institution erroneously accepted the fraudulent payment and credited it as a payoff for the mortgage. When the financial institution filed a suit seeking to reinstate the fraudulently discharged mortgage, King and Reynolds continued to allege in court that the mortgage had been paid and submitted a phony receipt for the bogus money order. King also made and mailed fraudulent money orders in an attempt to pay off his credit card bills.
Dxrams, King, and Reynolds conspired to fraudulently pay off Dxrams’ five luxury cars. They sent a bogus $101,000 cashier’s check to a finance company that enabled Dxrams to obtain a 2012 Bentley for free. Dxrams sold the car to a third party for approximately $82,000 and then issued a bank check to King for approximately $25,000. The defendants also used this scheme in an effort to fraudulently obtain three Mercedes-Benz cars and a Rolls Royce.
Dxrams was also convicted of bankruptcy fraud and making a false oath before the bankruptcy court. In December 2017, Dxrams filed a bankruptcy petition under penalty of perjury. He falsely concealed his ownership of a car rental business and the gross receipts he earned through this car rental business, his sale of the Bentley, his receipt of money from a personal injury lawsuit, his ownership of firearms, and his marital status, among other things. In January 2018, Dxrams appeared before the bankruptcy trustee and, after being placed under oath, made false statements concerning his bankruptcy petition and his sale of the Bentley.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Vasquez sentenced King to five years of supervised release and restitution of $597,781. Dxrams was sentenced to three years of supervised release, restitution of $93,236 and forfeiture of $82,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; the N.J. Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, under the direction of Director Jared Maples; the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General Eastern Regional Office, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Debbi Mayer; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi with the investigation leading to the convictions.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lakshmi Srinivasan Herman, of the National Security Unit, in Newark.