Monica F. McCurdy is accused of taking part in an employment scam that has affected victims all over the country. It's estimated that transactions associated with the case are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to authorities.
Here's how the Putnam County Sheriff's Office described the scheme in a recent statement:
In this case, victims would post their interest for employment online – often posting their resume with companies such as: Monster.com, Indeed.com and Craigslist. They then would be solicited by a company they believed to be legitimate offering employment opportunities to those willing to work from home. Some advertised occupations included a “secret shopper,” “data entry person,” “medical records clerk” or “payroll clerk.” After replying to an ad, an applicant would eventually receive a fraudulent money order or check and be asked to deposit into their own bank account. After depositing the phony money order or check into their account, the applicant would be instructed to send money via Western Union or MoneyGram to another unknown individual as part of their employment in amounts ranging from $300 to $2,950. Each fraudulent instrument was mailed via United Postal priority mail or overnight FedEx packages. FedEx accounts were established across the country. The priority mail was paid for with stolen credit card information allegedly obtained by Ms. McCurdy from victims throughout the United States.During Investigator James Babcock's two-year probe he worked with US Postal inspectors. McCurdy was arrested after Babcock consulted with Putnam County Assistant District Attorney Lisa Ortolano.
Officials obtained a search warrant for McCurdy's residence. They seized computer equipment and documents related to the scam.
"Further information revealed that Ms. McCurdy’s illegal enterprise spanned across the nation resulting in numerous unsuspecting people falling victim to her scheme," authorities said in the statement. "Additionally, it appears that she was acting in concert with others and sent a portion of her illegally obtained money to sources having international ties with: South Africa; Nigeria; Malaysia; the United Kingdom and Dubai."
Potential victims are located across the country: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
Officials locally have shared intelligence gathered in connection to the case with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Joint Terrorist Task Force.
She is facing the following felony charges: first-degree scheme to defraud and five counts of fourth-degree grand larceny. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.
Following arraignment before Patterson Town Justice Anthony Molé, McCurdy was sent to the Putnam County Correctional Facility on $25,000 bail.
“This was a far-reaching elaborate scam that was perpetrated against unsuspecting people of the United States," Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith said. "Aside from the criminal allegations, I am also deeply concerned that Ms. McCurdy’s alleged activities may have included sending large sums of money to others living in various countries around the world. I am, however, confident that the law enforcement agencies working on this case will collect more vital information concerning Ms. McCurdy and her global associates."
Police ask individuals who have more information about the scam, or who may have fallen victim to it, to call 845-225-8060. All calls will be kept confidential, authorities say.