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French Scammer Who Stole NYC Cop's Identity Pleads Guilty

August 15, 2016



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathleen Byrne, 215.348.6366, kgbyrne@buckscounty.org

A French national who used a New York City police officer’s stolen identity to buy two motorcycles in Bensalem faces deportation after pleading guilty today in Bucks County Common Pleas Court.

Issouf Sy, 34, of New York City, was on probation for similar crimes in Delaware County when he and another man used the officer’s identity to purchase and finance two 2015 Honda motorcycles on Nov. 11, 2014, at East Coast Cycle Center, police said.

The loan for the $17,132 transaction, initially approved by Honda Credit Agency, was later rejected after the agency learned that stolen information was used to obtain the loan. That left East Cost Cycle Center stuck with the loss, police said.

Sy pleaded guilty today to identity theft, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property, all third-degree felonies. He was sentenced to serve 11½ to 23 months in the Bucks County Correctional Facility, plus five years of concurrent probation.

An alleged accomplice, Arthur Sherwood, is awaiting trial.

Prior to the fraudulent purchase, Sy had obtained the name, date of birth, address, Social Security number and relatives’ names of the New York officer. He transmitted that information to Sherwood shortly before the purchase, Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Byrne said.

At the motorcycle dealership, Sherwood presented a Connecticut driver’s license bearing the name of the New York officer, and then filled out a credit application using the officer’s personal information, Byrne said. Sy, meanwhile, waited outside in a U-Haul truck that he had rented to transport the two motorcycles.

Byrne told Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. that Sy had put considerable planning into the thefts. “This wasn’t just a matter of him showing up in a U-Haul truck,” she said.

Bateman concurred that the crimes were “a fairly sophisticated plan. Despite that sophistication, he seems to be someone who keeps getting caught,” the judge said.

New York State Police arrested Sy shortly after the Bensalem thefts while investigating similar crimes in New York. The investigators seized a cell phone in Sy’s possession which had been used to store and transmit the personal information of the police officer whose identity was used to purchase the Bensalem motorcycles.

The New York officer told Bensalem detectives that he never had met Sy or Sherwood, but that the personal information they had used was his and that the credit references they had listed were in fact people he knew.

Sy still faces prosecution for a string of similar thefts in New York, Byrne said. When he is finished serving whatever jail time he receives, he is expected to be deported to France, she said.

Bateman ordered Sy to pay restitution to East Coast Cycle Center for its losses, and to have no further contact with the business or the New York officer.

The case was investigated by Detectives Gregory Jackson and Lawrence Leith of the Bensalem Police Department.

Approved for release by Daniel B. Sweeney, Deputy District Attorney.

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