A wannabe rapper who had about 300 pairs of Air Jordans when he was busted as part of a 25-member identity theft ring, the Daily News has learned.
“S**t like taking candy from a baby… I had the neon s**t, the vest, hanging from the waist like it was a bandana,” Carlton Carter, said in an intercepted call on Feb. 25, after he pretended to be a construction worker at a New Jersey TD Bank and ripped off an actual contractor, according to papers filed by the Manhattan District Attorney.
The stunt was uncovered as part of a probe into a roughly $80,000 swindle involving over a dozen Manhattan banks – mostly Chase and Citibank – that culminated in dozens of collars Tuesday. Carter, 30, and his cohorts are expected to appear in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday.
Through search warrants, the DA and NYPD recovered weapons, ammunition, $100,000 in cash, kilos of heroin and other incriminating finds from members of the ring, authorities said.
In the 36-count ID theft case, the defendants face scheme to defraud, grand larceny, criminal facilitation and a litany of other counts. The accused swindlers were allegedly instructed by Carter to wear disguises as they deposited and cashed bogus checks, sometimes using stolen accounts and fake IDs.
In Carter’s low-budget YouTube music video called “Shoppin,” he is being dragged around by a floor length fur wearing woman in a mini-skirt – who is taking him to Louis Vuitton and other high end retailers on Fifth Ave. as he rhymes his complaints about money-hungry women.
Authorities believe any money he had in reality would have come from defrauding local branches of major banks. Carter and his accomplices got victim’s account numbers from Melissa Peguro, a Pay-O-Matic employee in the Bronx who was also charged.
At least 45 bank accounts have been compromised.
In a parallel drug case allegedly headed by Carter’s bank fraud partner Thomas Luckey, 14 others were charged with dealing street drugs and acquiring thousands of prescription pills like Oxycodone per month in what is believed to be the first major prescription drug ring operating in Harlem.
The crew was allegedly filling a steady stream of bogus prescriptions through the now-shuttered ProHealth Pharmacy in Jackson Heights with the help of alleged inside man John Babajhanov, 20.
It is not immediately clear whether doctors had their prescription pads heisted — or if they were in on the scam.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said criminals are following the money wherever it leads them.
“These crimes are merging as thieves are realizing that they they’re looking for money they’re selling drugs,” Vance said. “At the same time they’re opportunistic and they’re going to get easy money by creating forged ids and forged checks.”