Published on July 19th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Couple allegedly stole elderly patients’ identities to fund vacations
A Staten Island couple stole the IDs of sickly senior citizens and blew the cash on vacations and courtside sports seats – but they left a trail of evidence on social media that led to their arrests, officials said today.
Amanda Zieminski, her fiance Clyde Forteau and three others bilked about $675,000 out of 80 patients to fund their lavish purchases over five years, according to DA Daniel Donovan.
Police recovered several jewel-encrusted Rolex watches, a money clip engraved with Forteau’s nickname, patient files and cash during the investigation.
Zieminski and Forteau bragged about their spending on Facebook, including how in 2012 he and his brother had better NBA playoff seats than NFL star-turned-accused killer Aaron Hernandez.
They also posted about their trip to Disney World, where they got engaged inside Cinderella’s Castle.
“Make no mistake, Amanda Zieminski is no Cinderella and Clyde Forteau is far from prince charming,” Donovan said. “However, this story does have a fairy-tale ending – for law enforcement.”
Zieminski, who went by the nickname “Meme Zee,” worked as a nurse at South Shore Physicians in Staten Island beginning in 2004.
Before she was canned in 2012 for inflating her work hours, she passed along the personal information of patients to Forteau, who refers to himself as “C-Money CEO,” and three other members of the ring, according to the DA, who announced the 64-count indictment a day after their arrest.
Donovan expects to collar more suspects in the coming days.
Prosecutors slapped the crew with a litany of charges that included fraud, falsifying records and theft, although Forteau was also charged with a hate crime for targeting the elderly.
At the same time Zieminski was allegedly draining the bank accounts of vunerable seniors, she was posting carefree messages on Facebook.
“Seeing so many homeless people on my way to work makes me realize how blessed I am,” one post read.
But if broadcasting their exploits on the Internet wasn’t enough, Forteau, an aspiring rapper, withdrew money from ATMs on several occasions wearing the same distinctive clothes, which were later found in the trunk of her car, the DA said.
He also told bankers he was a victim of Hurricane Sandy when asked why new debit cards were being sent to the Bronx instead of Staten Island, authorities said.
Zieminski, of Staten Island, and Bronx residents Forteau, his brother Jerome “It’z Holly” Forteau and Abdul “Chips” Yousef face between 8 and 25 years behind bars if convicted, while Bronx-resident Carmen Rivera, who was charged only with identity theft, faces between two and seven years, prosecutors said.
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Source: nypost.com “Couple allegedly stole elderly patients’ identities to fund vacations,” July 19, 2013.