Mail Fraud Scheme Leads Investigators to Nab Suspect for Attempted Murder as Well

The attempted murder suspect and his accomplice were arrested as part of an investigation into stolen federal stimulus and state tax refund checks. When police closed in, they discovered a gun used in an unrelated shooting in the summer of 2022.

| 17 Mar 2023 | 01:50

A mail fraud mastermind and an alleged accomplice who is a former US Postal mail carrier were indicted for their roles in a scheme that stole over $700,000 in federal stimulus and state tax return checks from the mail.

The leader of the mail fraud scheme, Johnny Green, 26, is also charged with attempted murder after police executing a search warrant of the suspect’s apartment in connection with the bank fraud found a semi-automatic handgun that was linked ballistically to an August, 22, 2022.

In a wild shootout outside a residential building on W. 159th Street, Green allegedly fired several gunshots at another person during an attempted robbery. A third person returned fire, and two people were struck by the gunshots, including a bystander who was struck in the head at an apartment building on West.

A firearm and three cellphones found at West 176th Street may be introduced as evidence at trial, in addition to 11 spent 9mm shell casings and some financial documents.

One of Green’s accomplices in the fraud scheme was Isaiah Spain, a 22-year-old mail carrier who worked out of the Waldwick, NJ post office.

Both men are residents of Manhattan.

They were charged with stealing the $700,000 in checks and withdrawing at least $100,000 of the stolen money themselves in a scheme that involved others, according to the indictments handed down from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

“White collar investigations can and do help us identify those who commit violent crimes,” said District Attorney Bragg. “As alleged, these two individuals perpetrated a scheme that victimized people who rely on the mail to deliver what’s rightfully theirs. Manhattanites should not have to worry that government employees will use their position to take advantage of them. By carefully investigating this scheme, we developed evidence that led to an arrest in a near-fatal shooting.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record, Green sought out individuals such as bank tellers and postal employees who could provide him with checks. Among his sources for the stolen checks was Spain, the indictment charges.

Green, Spain and others would deposit the stolen checks into accomplices’ bank accounts, then withdraw the funds as quickly as possible before the fraud was detected. They are both charged with four counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, four counts of criminal possession of stolen property and one count of conspiracy. Green faces up to 20 different charges, including for attempted murder. Spain faces a ten count indictment.

To obtain new bank accounts, prosecutors charged that Green and Spain recruited new accomplices by posting images to their Instagram accounts flaunting the proceeds of their fraud, as well as images that contained coded, cryptic language directing accomplices who had accounts with particular banks to contact them.

Green and Spain were said to have communicated with each other over Instagram frequently to discuss their scheme. In one instance, on April 21, 2022, Green, who went by @THEREAL.GLIZZZZY exchanged direct messages with Spain, who went by @ZAYYTHEGOD discussing stimulus checks and other bank accounts, saying:

THEREAL.GLIZZZZY: What’s the amount you got on them stims?ZAYYTHEGOD: 12k,110k,5k,4K THEREAL.GLIZZZZY: I’m a drop on dusty wells or chev ... I got a dust wells too

Green faces 20 counts in his indictment, including the attempted murder charges. Spain faces ten counts on three separate charges for his role in the mail fraud.

“I thank our partners at the USPS Inspector General’s Office for their work to protect the integrity of our mail system,” Bragg said.

“These defendants took advantage of the trust given to one of the co-conspirators by his employer, when they devised a scheme to steal from the U.S. Mail, an act that will never be tolerated,” said US Inspector in Charge Daniel B. Brubaker.

“By carefully investigating this scheme, we developed evidence that led to an arrest in a near-fatal shooting.” Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg