A New York man who was arrested in Maine on fraud charges is allegedly part of a larger, multi-state operation.

Newport Police arrested 54-year-old Mark Pignatello of Yonkers, New York after he allegedly tried to cash a fraudulent check at a local bank. He was taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to make a court appearance on Friday. Centralmaine.com reports Pignatello had allegedly tried to cash a $3,000 check in Bangor earlier in the day, but was denied. He later successfully cashed a check in Orono. He's also facing charges in Connecticut, according to a Maine court official, for similar charges. In that case, his victim was a judge, and he allegedly stole about $17,000.

Officials say it's all part of a crime ring that covers Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, and Connecticut. The group allegedly steals people's mail, in order to get their identification information. They make up false driver's licenses, with the stolen information and their own pictures, and use the fake ID's to try and cash checks drawn on the victims' accounts.

The investigation involves local law enforcement, Federal officials, and U.S. Secret Service, as well as the bank's fraud division.



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