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Nov. 21, 2013 -- Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced today that the three principal defendants in a scheme to defraud Westchester County out of tens of thousands of dollars in parking revenue and MetroCard sales from the Westchester County Center parking lot have pled guilty.

Jahmai Samuel (DOB 12/06/85) of 1829 Yates Avenue, Bronx, New York pled guilty today to:

  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony.

Alessia Velez, (DOB 02/02/85) of 101-32 110th Avenue, Richmond Hill, New York pled guilty today to:

  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony.

Marcus Harris (DOB 03/10/84) of 5 Monroe Street, Mount Vernon, New York pled guilty on Nov. 14, 2013 to:

  • one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” Felony.

These defendants are the principal defendants in an investigation resulting in charges against an additional twelve individuals.

They were all employees of the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation that operates the parking facility.

The remaining twelve defendants are friends, girlfriends, relatives or associates of the employees.

Over a three year period from Aug. 13, 2009 to June 29, 2012, these defendants were involved in a scheme that involved employees at the parking lot selling full year, half year, or quarterly parking permits to unsuspecting customers, who were told to write the check out to a “third party”, rather than Westchester County.

Customers were told that these “third parties” had lost their jobs, or moved and no longer needed their parking space and were trying to recoup a portion of their parking permit fee. The names that the customers were induced to write on the checks were usually one of the defendants or a friend/family member.

The total theft includes the approximately $10,000 in cash Samuel took in Metro-North Railroad proceeds that were ostensibly remitted by the County to Metro-North that the New York City Transit MetroCard Fraud Unit was able to document.

In addition to the amounts deposited directly into their own bank accounts, these defendants used the bank accounts of other individuals to deposit additional stolen monies.

The total larceny from all fifteen defendants is more than $195,000.

The scheme came to light last summer when Jahmai Samuel was the victim of a gun shot robbery on June 29, 2012, in the Bronx. When the NYPD questioned Samuels about why he was in possession of $3,000 cash, he maintained that the money was customer parking cash receipts from his job which “he forgot to take to the bank after work.”

The New York City shooting proved to be the catalyst for this investigation in that it prompted questions as to how an employee of the Westchester County Department of Parks came in to position of that much cash representing parking proceeds.

Bail for Samuel was continued at $5,000 cash or bond.

Bail for Harris was continued at $5,000 cash or bond.

Velez was released on her own recognizance.

Sentencing for all three is on March 6, 2014.

Samuel faces a maximum sentence of fifteen years in state prison.

Harris and Velez face a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.
Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau is prosecuting the cases.


Jahmai Samuel

Alessia Velez Marcus Harris
Jahmai Samuel Alessia Velez Marcus Harris