A former Kenilworth man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for defrauding eight New Jersey businesses, robbing another and stealing the identities of three women.
Raymond Scura, 31, of Staten Island, passed fraudulent checks and used stolen credit cards to purchase luxury goods and services such as a country club membership, limousine services, luxury hotel expenses, exotic car rentals, a Rolex watch, and high-end wine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey said in a statement.
He made the purchases to “appear wealthy and obtain the confidence of his victims, who were usually women.” Scura then stole their identities to make more purchases and maintain a lavish lifestyle.
He pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud affecting a financial institution, aggravated identity theft and Hobbs Act robbery and was ordered to pay $166,505 in restitution. In all, the victims had more than $250,000 stolen from them between July 2016 and January 2019, authorities said.
The names of the businesses weren’t disclosed in court papers, though one is a car service in Kenilworth. He also wrote a bad check to a business in the Marlton section of Evesham for a $52,000 Rolex watch and spent $2,863.04 on 12 bottles of wine at a different retailer in town.
In October 2018, Scura and one of the women spent a total of five nights at a New York City hotel. While Scura told the woman he’d pay, instead he used her credit card to ring up for more than $31,000 in charges, according to court papers.
He was arrested in Atlantic City in January 2019 when the manager of the Evesham business agreed to meet Scura under the pretense of selling him more watches, court papers state. The manager had already reported Scura’s fraud to police.
Then, in February 2019 Scura was arrested on charges that he robbed a business owner at gunpoint who’d insisted on cash payment after one of Scura’s checks bounced because the account printed on it did not exist. The business owner did not accept a second check and the two met up to drive to a bank in Essex County, according to a complaint.
“You’re going to put this … check into your account and then you’re going to take (the money) out of your account. Don’t tell anybody or I will go to your house and kill you and your family,” Scura allegedly told the man.
Scura then handed the man a third check, took his bank card, asked for the PIN and deposited the check himself. He then had the victim withdraw that money, which Scura took for himself.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Claire C. Cecchi sentenced Scura to three years of supervised release.
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