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Friday
Aug052011

'Geovanni Kasanova' Charged with Seducing Bank Tellers to Steal Identities

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York lothario who goes by the name of "Geovanni Kasanova" has been arrested as the alleged ring leader in an identity theft ring that stole more than $1 million over the course of two years. His main alleged tactic: seducing bank tellers from JP Morgan Chase banks to help him steal identities.

"Kasanova," legally known as Richard Dames, 33, and five members of the alleged identity theft and cybercrime ring were indicted Thursday on 148 counts of stealing the money from at least 80 bank accounts.

"The ring both pickpocketed these victims on the street, and colluded with the bank employees, to steal personal identification that in turn enabled criminal organization to withdraw significant funds from bank branches from New York to Texas to Michigan," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in a statement.

"If you speak to this guy for a few minutes, he's not exactly smooth or charismatic," Dames' attorney Michael Mays said of his client. "He's overweight and his hair was all over the place. He's sitting up in Riker's Island and is penniless. It's not exactly like he's prince charming."

Dames allegedly seduced Makila Williams, 25, and Kia Wylie, 30, who were working as tellers at JP Morgan Chase banks in New York.

The other three suspects are Jamaluddin Almahdi, 66, Wayne Mitchell, 42, and Ricky McCants, 30. McCants was also an employee of a JP Morgan Chase Bank.

The group was indicted on multiple felony charges, including grand larceny, identity theft and conspiracy. McCants and Wylie are also accused of numerous counts of computer trespass.

After becoming involved with Dames, the women allegedly accepted money from him to obtain personal information through the bank's computer system that allowed Dames to steal identities, according to court papers.

Mays believes Chase is using his client as a scapegoat for its own employees' misdemeanors. He said Dames has been in prison for over a year for previous charges, unable to make bail, and could not be running a crime ring from jail.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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