Former New York Giants triallist Nyantakyi Boateng has been arrested for an alleged million-dollar identity theft ring that prosecutors say was highly sophisticated and massive in scope
He was an undrafted wide-receiver who attended the Giants rookie mini-camp in 2010 — and his co-defendants face anywhere from five to 15 years prison.
The five allegedly used stolen bank account data to pay for their car loans, rent and plane tickets.
“Over the course of a year, these defendants allegedly operated a highly sophisticated and organized loan and identity theft ring,” said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
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Some 20 victims in at least six states were robbed of $250,000, Singas said, but prosecutors believe other people were targeted. In all, the ring members were trying to steal more than $1 million, the DA said.
Sears used the stolen bank data to file for more than 100 bogus loans in the victims’ names, including from credit unions affiliated with the Pentagon and the US Navy.
Boateng, Sears, and two other co-defendants — would withdraw the loan proceeds from ATMs and spend the money on personal expenses, Singas said.
This was not Boateng’s first run-in with the law. He was busted in Gainesville, Florida, in 2007, and charged with burglary residence, battery and criminal mischief, the Mercury News reported. Cops at the time said he tried to enter an ex-girlfriend’s apartment, and when she refused, he kicked in the door and went in anyway, the outlet reported.
The Ghana-born athlete moved with his family to Brooklyn when he was 6 years old, and became a two-sport star at Lincoln High School, where he played football and basketball.
The 6-2, 211 lbs Boateng caught the eye of the Giants while playing for the Golden Bears of University of California, Berkeley, where he transferred from the University of Florida.
“Boateng is a transfer from Florida who has struggled on and off the field because of injuries and conduct,” his scouting report on NFL.com said. “He will require a strong background check by any team interested in gambling on his physical talent.”
Boateng’s lawyer, Robert Schalk, said Saturday his client has pleaded not guilty and is free on $25,000 bail posted by his family.
“We’re in the beginning stages of getting discovery from the District Attorney’s Office — it’s been very limited to date,” Schalk said.
“We’re not looking for anyone to rush to judgement here,” he added. “The presumption of innocence attaches to all criminal defendants, as to
An attorney for Sears did not immediately respond to a call requesting comment.