Former Director At New York City Mayor’s Office Charged With Bank Fraud

News | June 20, 2024 By:

On Thursday, June 6, 2024, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York announced that a former director in the New York City Mayor’s Office had been indicted on charges relating to a $10 million bank fraud scheme.

Tommy Lin, who served as director of constituent services in the Community Affairs Unit of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office between 2014 and 2019, was arrested and charged with bank fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, and aggravated identity theft. Lin allegedly participated in a complex scheme with two other men, Zhong Shi Gao and Fei Jiang of New York, to defraud over a dozen banks.

According to prosecutors, the scheme involved causing monetary transfers between bank accounts controlled by Gao, Jiang, and Lin and then falsely reporting them as unauthorized to obtain reimbursements from the banks. Gao and Jiang would recruit others, often foreign nationals, to open bank accounts and transfer control to them. After falsely claiming an unauthorized transfer, the banks would temporarily credit the accounts before realizing the transfers were legitimate. Gao and Jiang would then withdraw the credited funds and convert them into cash or cryptocurrency.

Lin is accused of providing personal details like names and dates of birth to the others to open accounts and running background checks to ensure those selected were not under investigation. Prosecutors allege Lin also accepted $20,000 to have an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer arrest a previous participant who had become disgruntled.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that Lin “leveraged his connections to law enforcement” to assist in the scheme while serving as a director within the New York City government. If convicted, Lin faces up to 30 years in prison for the bank fraud and wire fraud charges.