NYPD detective allegedly scammed New Yorkers out of $1.5M by stealing their bank info to pay off debts
To protect and scam.
An NYPD detective was arrested Tuesday on charges that he used stolen bank account numbers in a $1.5 million scheme to pay off his credit card and mortgage accounts.
Michael Bonanno, a 16-year department veteran, and a co-conspirator used wire transfers to steal money from the bank accounts of multiple city residents, and made deposits into accounts they controlled, authorities said.
Bonanno, 44, and Domenic Aiello also cashed fraudulent checks written from victims’ accounts into accounts they controlled, according to court papers.
In all, the pair used wire transfers to steal $1,457,642, and deposited approximately $68,900 worth of forged checks
“Plain and simple, Michael Bonanno allegedly used other people’s money to pay off his debts while simultaneously serving as a police officer, charged with investigating criminal wrongdoing,” said FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr.
NYPD Detective Michael Bonanno and an accomplice used wire transfers to steal money from the bank accounts of multiple city residents, and made deposits into accounts they controlled, authorities said.
“We don’t allow the general public to get away with these types of crimes, and we won’t allow members of the law enforcement community to get away with them either.”
Bonanno was a member of the NYPD Crime Stoppers unit, which receives and investigates anonymous tips about criminal activity from members of the community.
“Bonanno betrayed the public that he swore to protect,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.
Officials said Bonanno and Aiello, who was unemployed at the time of the thefts, were longtime friends.
Aiello’s role was to pose as the bank account holder. He made phone calls pretending to be his dead father, and provided account numbers that belonged to someone else.
Bonanno and Aiello first began stealing money in October, 2016 from victims to pay expenses such as Bonanno’s credit card balance, and to make purchases at stores and restaurants, according to court papers.
About a year later, they began attempting to steal much larger amounts to pay off Bonanno’s mortgage, authorities said.