SLINGERLANDS — Bethlehem police arrested four people last week after they attempted to withdraw more than $100,000 in fraudulent loans made out under the names of SEFCU customers whose names they stole with the help of an employee.
The SEFCU branch at 12 Vista Blvd in Slingerlands called police on Thursday, Oct. 13 to report a man was attempting to use a fraudulent identification to withdraw $20,000 from the credit union. Police arrested Davon Parson, 19, of Albany, from inside the credit union. At the same time, they stopped Evan Cutler, 23, of Menands, in the parking lot for driving without a license in an uninsured vehicle.
Once the two were in custody, police said they started to piece together a larger scheme, with the assistance of SEFCU Fraud Prevention, that involved two additional people. Dnauticah Taylor-Sterman, 20, of Menands, had applied and received a loan a week before under a name she allegedly received from a SEFCU teller, Caeshara Cannon, 33, of Watervliet. Cannon allegedly provided client information for all the pending cases.
According to police records, the three created supporting documentation after obtaining the identities of SEFCU customers from Cannon. They would then apply for and receive approval for personal loans, receiving cash in the transactions. Police said the first of several transactions began when Parson and Cutler allegedly cashed a $9,000 check at the Glenmont branch in August.
The investigation is ongoing and more victims have come forward. According to available reports, the timeline is:
August 13 – Parson and Cutler allegedly cash a $9,000 check at the SEFCU Glenmont branch against the funds of a SEFCU customer with information provided by branch employee Cannon.
September 21 – Cutler applies for and is approved for a fraudulent personal loan of $25,000 at SEFCU with the information of a male SEFCU customer received from Cannon using a fake NY driver’s license.
October 7 – Taylor-Sterman applies for and is approved for a $25,000 personal loan at a SEFCU branch with the information of a female SEFCU customer received from Cannon using a fake NY driver’s license. Taylor-Sterman withdrew $5,000 immediately from the new account and returned with her boyfriend, Cutler, to withdraw the remaining $20,000.
October 13 – Bethlehem police were called to the SEFCU Slingerlands branch to investigate Parsons attempting to withdraw $20,000 from the branch using a fake NY ID Card of another Male. Cutler, who was driving Parsons, was stopped trying to flee in a vehicle by police in the parking lot, gave officers a fake name because he had no license due to DWAI conviction. The vehicle also had no insurance.
Parsons and Cutler are arrested. Parsons has three outstanding warrants from Warren County.
October 14 – Bethlehem police interview Cannon and execute a search warrant at her residence. Police find a defaced and loaded handgun, cash and a large amount of concentrated cannabis and cannabis packaged for sale. She was arrested for the identity theft charges, but the Albany County Sheriff’s office is investigating the weapon and drug charges.
October 21 – More victims have come forward and further charges are expected. The total money stolen is expected to exceed $100,000.
A spokesman said the credit union is working with police to find additional victims and that it is continuing to monitor the situation.
“Maintaining the safety and security of our employees, members, and their assets is our top priority. We are cooperating with law enforcement to ensure this situation is resolved swiftly and justice is served,”Ken Jubie, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations Broadview FCU said.
SEFCU and CAPcom announced a merger of the two local credit unions in June, to rebrand under a new name, Broadview Federal Credit Union. Branches currently still display the SEFCU and CAPcom signage as the rebrand continues.
According to reports, the Albany County Sheriff’s office is investigating the weapon and drug charges at Cannon’s apartment.
Bethlehem police charged Cutler with felonies of grand larceny, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and misdemeanors of false impersonation, criminal impersonation, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, conspiracy and aggravated unlicensed operation.
Parson was charged with felonies of grand larceny, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and misdemeanors of conspiracy and criminal impersonation. He was also wanted on three outstanding warrants from Warren County Sheriff’s office.
Taylor-Sterman was charged with felonies of grand larceny, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and misdemeanor criminal impersonation.
Cannon was charged with felonies of grand larceny, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records.
All four were arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court by Andrew Kirby and released on their own recognizance. Parson was handed over to the Warren County Sheriff’s office. They are scheduled to return to court on Tuesday, Nov. 15.