TRENTON – Two men have pleaded guilty for their roles in a so-called “Wash Wash Scam” in which the defendants attempted to steal money from someone that they believed to be an unsuspecting victim by falsely promising an amount of money several times the amount of money that the victim fronted to the defendants, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced.
Nyondah L. Blay, a.k.a. John Blay, 38, of Trenton, and Carl Jenkins, 36, of Philadelphia, Pa., each pleaded guilty on Monday, Sept. 23, to third-degree attempted theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel in Camden County. The defendants were charged in a May 21 indictment.
Kassel scheduled sentencing for Nov. 1. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that each defendant be sentenced to 364 days in county jail.
In pleading guilty, the defendants admitted that between Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2013, they attempted to steal at least $500 by creating the false impression that they possessed hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. currency that was dyed black to avoid detection as the money was smuggled out of their war-torn country of Liberia.
The investigation further revealed that Blay and Jenkins asked a victim to supply tens of thousand dollars that they claimed they needed for the purchase of expensive chemicals needed to extract the dye from the bills. The defendants promised to pay the victim an amount of money several times what the victim fronted once the dye was extracted. Blay and Jenkins were arrested on Feb. 1 in Cherry Hill when they took possession of several thousand dollars from their intended target. In this type of scheme, once the transaction is completed, the defendants normally abscond with the victim’s money and the victim is left with worthless paper.
The defendants were arrested as a result of a sting operation conducted jointly by the Division of Criminal Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Detective Anne Hayes was the lead detective for the Division of Criminal Justice. Deputy Attorney General Peter Gallagher of the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case for the Division of Criminal Justice. Director Honig thanked from the Division of Criminal Justice’s Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau and the Gangs & Organized Crime Unit, as well as officers of the Cherry Hill Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in the investigation and arrest.
Hoffman and Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has a confidential, toll-free tipline for the public to report financial fraud, corruption and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. The public also can log on to the Division Web site at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.
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