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2 Sentenced In Family Led Check-Cashing Scheme

SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Two New Jersey men are headed to prison for their roles in a family led check-cashing scam that targeted banks in several states.

Twenty-eight-year-old Tonijah Criss of Elizabeth, who was convicted last month of racketeering and other charges, received an eight-year term Friday.

Tihee Brisbane, a 37-year-old Whippany resident convicted of computer theft for taking the personal information of 2,700 Verizon customers, got a three-year sentence.

Prosecutors say Criss’ father, 46-year-old Eric Criss of South Orange, led the ring that included two more sons and a stepdaughter. The ring recruited runners and provided them with forged checks, fake identification and cell phones.

Banks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Ohio lost more than $600,000 to the scheme.

The remaining ring members will be sentenced this week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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