Defendant: Jelani Knox (DOB 11/14/90)

Aug. 21, 2020 -- Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced Defendant Jelani Knox of Mount Vernon was sentenced yesterday to two to four years in state prison for identity theft in a scheme that included forging checks for deposit at Mount Vernon and Pelham bank branches. He appeared before Supreme Court Justice Barry E. Warhit.

Knox pleaded guilty March 5, 2020, to five counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, one for each victim.

Prosecutors allege, on five different days last summer, Jelani Knox altered checks from five unrelated Mount Vernon victims’ accounts, totaling more than $34,000 and deposited them in bank ATMs in Mount Vernon and Pelham. He would alter the amount on the checks and who they were made out to name, and then deposit them. The transactions were recorded on video and showed the defendant conducting the deposits at the ATMs.

During a separate incident in July, Mount Vernon Police arrested Knox. They found on him a forged check and two debits cards in the names of the two accounts into which he was making deposits. Later, these facts helped corroborate the identity thefts.

United States Postal Inspection Service assisted in the case. Investigations Division Assistant District Attorney Adrian Murphy of the Identity Theft Unit is prosecuting the case.

 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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