TRENTON, N.J., July 8 (UPI) -- Members of the Bloods street gang used forged payroll checks to steal $341,000 from eight banks between 2005 and 2007, New Jersey officials said Tuesday.
The alleged organizers of the scheme are members of the Nine Trey Gangsters arm of the Bloods, New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram said. She announced the indictment of 31 people, including eight Bloods leaders.
Investigators said the case shows street gangs are turning to more sophisticated crime.
"The Nine Trey Bloods wouldn't survive long if they were only about weapons and violence," said Lt. Col. Christopher Andreychak of the New Jersey State Police. "We have learned not to underestimate the sophistication of street gangs and their criminal enterprises."
The group allegedly obtained legitimate payroll checks from people they recruited, then used the information they obtained, including bank routing numbers, to forge checks, using laptop computers and digital printers. Others would be recruited to help cash the checks, investigators said.