New York man charged with allegedly stealing coronavirus stimulus checks

A New York man has been accused of stealing nine Coronavirus stimulus checks.Feng Chen, 31, of Brooklyn was arrested and charged with stealing mail. N...

Posted: May 1, 2020 5:13 PM
Updated: May 1, 2020 6:45 PM

A New York man has been accused of stealing nine Coronavirus stimulus checks.

Feng Chen, 31, of Brooklyn was arrested and charged with stealing mail. New York police officers found Chen had credit cards, checks and nine stimulus payments that did not belong to him, according to a news release from the US Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York.

NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea said the COVID-19 pandemic is providing criminals an opportunity for criminal scams.

'I applaud our alert detectives and federal partners for interrupting an alleged scheme to victimize New Yorkers by stealing important mail and stimulus money meant to aid them during this unprecedented crisis,' Shea said, according to the news release.

Chen's lawyer, Jan Rostal, told CNN she had no comment at this time.

NYPD police officers saw Chen look inside the medical collection bin at a closed medical office early Tuesday morning and then walk to two nearby residential buildings and examine mail left at the door, the criminal complaint said.

Police say he left the second residential building and threw what appeared to be an mail on the sidewalk, the complaint said.

The NYPD officers say when they got out of their vehicle they saw a bulge in Chen's jacket pocket, the compliant said. After searching him, the officers found recovered checks, Economic Impact Payments totaling more than $12,000, credit cards, opened envelopes and letters bearing the names of various individuals and mail addresses, the complaint said.

'For many families, these stimulus checks are a lifeline in these difficult times and anyone who tries to cut that lifeline will face the full weight of the law,' Richard Donoghue, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the news release.

Congress has passed trillions of dollars in legislative relief in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Treasury Department said more than 88 million people have received stimulus payments so far.

'The Economic Impact Payments are, in many cases, the lifeline needed by these individuals to stay afloat during this crisis. When Mr. Chen stole these checks, he robbed recipients of these much-needed funds. Postal Inspectors and their law enforcement partners have no tolerance for the theft of mail, especially during these unprecedented times,' said Philip Bartlett, inspector-in-charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service of the New York Division.

The stimulus package is providing individuals who earn less than $99,000 with up to $1,200, and married couples with up to $2,400. The amount falls as the income goes up.

'We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate any individual that engages in criminal activity to victimize taxpayers and exploit this national crisis for their own benefit,' said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

If convicted, Chen could face a maximum of five years in prison.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1101185

Reported Deaths: 17557
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1441632231
Lake715041238
Allen65802880
Hamilton50322484
St. Joseph48966643
Elkhart39621543
Vanderburgh34317495
Tippecanoe30336273
Johnson27293465
Hendricks25947380
Porter25171386
Madison20749447
Clark19985277
Vigo18838308
LaPorte16924261
Delaware16480297
Howard16432311
Monroe16415219
Kosciusko13976165
Hancock12899185
Bartholomew12729189
Warrick12051190
Wayne11921267
Floyd11901226
Grant11755240
Morgan10276190
Boone9706121
Noble9094122
Henry9040165
Marshall8932147
Dearborn8866100
Dubois8751139
Shelby8101129
Cass8055127
Lawrence7939184
DeKalb7638107
Jackson752693
Huntington7475110
Gibson7019118
Montgomery6930123
Harrison688298
Knox6855115
Steuben655787
Miami6497109
Whitley644860
Putnam635583
Clinton619877
Wabash6080109
Jasper604992
Jefferson5710103
Ripley550292
Adams533781
Daviess5020117
Scott482880
Wells4733101
White470368
Greene463899
Clay459762
Decatur4548110
Jennings441766
Fayette438494
LaGrange421290
Posey404044
Washington385455
Randolph3834107
Fountain368762
Spencer357347
Fulton356872
Starke349073
Owen347577
Sullivan345754
Orange325571
Jay321950
Rush299632
Carroll290238
Franklin287144
Perry285153
Vermillion281158
Tipton248265
Parke247030
Pike245044
Blackford218744
Pulaski206458
Newton179752
Brown174050
Crawford168129
Benton163917
Martin151719
Switzerland145612
Warren132316
Union118316
Ohio91813
Unassigned0587

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1690217

Reported Deaths: 26587
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1772171827
Cuyahoga1648472640
Hamilton1125391528
Montgomery796451395
Summit705111199
Lucas620241020
Butler56096805
Stark527941171
Lorain41276642
Warren35509412
Mahoning35270771
Lake31622495
Clermont30804363
Delaware26791182
Trumbull26782616
Licking26297336
Medina25419351
Fairfield24256287
Greene24097372
Clark21748387
Portage20807281
Richland20686340
Wood19745246
Allen18638320
Miami17074348
Columbiana16571332
Muskingum16483206
Wayne15482306
Tuscarawas14158360
Marion13116194
Erie12479198
Ashtabula12417232
Scioto12288184
Pickaway12114153
Ross11526225
Hancock11321173
Geauga10726175
Lawrence10531172
Belmont10304234
Huron9633158
Jefferson9504227
Union944075
Sandusky9106166
Seneca8752157
Knox8663170
Washington8632158
Athens828996
Darke8288180
Ashland7873149
Auglaize7794117
Shelby7369133
Defiance7243115
Crawford7129150
Brown7072115
Fulton7058112
Logan6899108
Guernsey684284
Mercer683998
Highland6659119
Madison643889
Clinton6422106
Williams635899
Preble6194140
Putnam6126120
Jackson574096
Champaign570687
Perry561179
Coshocton5576104
Ottawa555499
Morrow509364
Fayette485370
Hardin480699
Gallia465478
Pike460176
Van Wert458993
Adams4531109
Henry426978
Hocking403093
Holmes3947140
Wyandot369373
Carroll354478
Paulding320551
Meigs303459
Monroe233661
Noble218047
Morgan212138
Harrison206953
Vinton184337
Unassigned06
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 41°
Huntington
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 41°
Decatur
Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 40°
Van Wert
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 39°
The warming trend is expected to continue through Thursday, before cooler air returns to the Midwest for the weekend.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events