Oct. 2, 2019
Bloomfield Man Convicted in Check Fraud Scheme
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Woody Armand, 44, of Bloomfield of unlawful possession of a handgun, trafficking in personal information, forgery, and unlawful possession of heroin and oxycodone, following a trial before the Honorable Verna Leath, Judge of the Superior Court.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Peter A. Wojcik, who prosecuted the case, on Nov. 4, 2018, officers of the Bloomfield Police Department, as well as agents of the United States Postal Service, executed a search warrant at Armand’s Bloomfield apartment.
There, officers found multiple debit cards that did not belong to Armand, as well as multiple checks on which Armand was neither the issuer nor the payee. Additionally, officers found 37 decks of heroin, two oxycodone pills, printing equipment, and over 1,000 blank checks. A .40 Smith and Wesson handgun was also found hidden behind a painting in the stairwell.
At trial, testimony was introduced to show Armand was printing fraudulent checks at his residence. These checks would then be deposited in a willing participant’s bank account. The funds would later be withdrawn and split with individuals who were cooperating with the illegal scheme.
Following a three-day trial and three days of jury deliberations, the jury found Armand guilty on all counts.
Armand has eight prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute, conspiracy, unlawful possession of a weapon, credit card theft, conspiracy to commit theft by deception, theft by deception, and receiving stolen property. He also has a federal conviction for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 12, 2019.
Because of his criminal history, Armand is eligible for an extended term of imprisonment, which could mean up to 30 years in state prison with 10 years of parole ineligibility. He also faces two additional indictments.
“We thank the officers of the Bloomfield Police Department for their tireless efforts and dedication to the investigation and prosecution of this case. We also thank the jury for their patience and service in this rather lengthy trial,” said Assistant Prosecutor Wojcik.
“Hopefully this sends a strong message to everyone involved in similar fraudulent schemes: you will be caught, and you will be prosecuted,” Assistant Prosecutor Wojcik added.