A 40-year-old New York man, who federal prosecutors say tried to steal money from a person’s account at a North Andover bank, recently agreed to plead guilty to using counterfeit U.S. passport cards to withdraw money from three residents’ bank accounts.
Jean Andre Bontiffe agreed to plead guilty to three counts of bank fraud, one count of forgery or false use of a passport and one count of aggravated identity theft. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled. He was previously charged by criminal complaint in October 2023.
In one case, acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy’s office said, Bontiffe presented a passport and a Discover credit card, both in the name of a Massachusetts resident who had an account at TD Bank and attempted to withdraw $4,500.
According to court documents, Bontiffe was arrested on Aug. 9, 2022 in New York for attempting to pass through TSA screening at LaGuardia Airport using a counterfeit California driver’s license in the same name as one of the Massachusetts victims. An investigation suggests that, between July 20 and July 22, 2022, Bontiffe traveled to Massachusetts from the Bronx, N.Y., and made nine attempts to withdraw money from bank accounts that belonged to three victims from Massachusetts, stealing a total of $13,800.
Due to unmatched signatures, the North Andover bank denied the particular transaction and seized the passport and credit card prior to Bontiffe leaving.