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Defendant: Andre Mendez (DOB 05/25/91)

Nov. 29, 2018 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced that Andre Mendez of Nanuet, NY was sentenced by Westchester County Court Judge Larry J. Schwartz for crimes involving identity theft and auto theft.

Mendez pleaded guilty Sept. 5, 2018 to Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, and three vehicular charges including Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree, a felony, and two counts of Driving While Intoxicated, misdemeanors.

The sentencing is as follows: on the charge of identity theft, he will serve one year in county jail and must repay $14,551.73 restitution to Honda and $16,781.18 to Toyota for the theft of vehicles. On the second count, he will serve one year in county jail to run concurrently.

In addition, on the three vehicular charges, he will serve one year each in county jail to run concurrently with each other but consecutively to the other sentence. Mendez will also face fines for each count, will lose his license for a total of six months, and will have to install an ignition interlock device in his vehicle.

Background
The defendant, Andre Mendez, created a synthetic (false) identity using his actual name and date of birth along with the Social Security number of an unsuspecting 10-year-old victim. He then opened two Bank of America bank accounts to establish credit with that identity. Investigators believe that Mendez was able to use the child’s Social Security number because banks and credit agencies had no record of that number, and therefore, were not aware the number identified a child. Once these bank accounts were established, Mendez leased or financed motor vehicles using the same synthetic identity which now could sustain a credit check.

On Feb. 1, 2017, the defendant financed a 2017 Toyota Camry SE from Westchester Toyota in Yonkers giving the victim child’s Social Security number as his own. The following day, he leased a 2017 Honda Accord Sport from White Plains Honda in White Plains using the same synthetic identity. In support of both of these purchases, Mendez provided the dealerships with forged earning statements purported to be issued by a hospital for which he did not work.

Mendez made no payments toward either of these vehicles. He had been driving both cars although his license was revoked and insurance lapsed.

This investigation began in May 2017 and culminated in the defendant’s arrest Sept. 8, 2017, as he left the Town of Greenburgh Court driving the fraudulently purchased Toyota.

He was in court that day on charges of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree, and Driving While Intoxicated. (He was arrested March 3, 2017.) In addition, he was charged with Driving While Intoxicated stemming from a March 26, 2017, incident on the Bronx River Parkway.

After Mendez’s arrest, District Attorney’s Office investigators recovered the stolen and fraudulently purchased Honda Accord at an auto body shop in the Bronx. Mendez was indicted in April by a Westchester County Grand Jury.

This investigation was carried out by investigators from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the case was prosecuted by ADA Stefanie DeNise of the Investigations Division Identity Theft Unit, and ADA Jonathan Strongin of the Superior Court Trial Division.

police photo of Andre Mendez

Andre Mendez

 In compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 3.6, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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