Brooklyn man pleads guilty to stealing $31,000 from victims in check theft scheme

Kings County Supreme Court in Downtown Brooklyn, where Jianqing Chen was sentenced on Friday.
Kings County Supreme Court in Downtown Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy of Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia Commons

A Brooklyn man plead guilty on Thursday to stealing over $31,000 in an elaborate check theft scheme, hitting the victims’ mailboxes and using stolen IDs in order to cash them. 

Prosecutors said Gennady Galker went around the Midwood section of Brooklyn and snagged checks from various mailboxes over the course of several months. 

Once he obtained the ill-gotten checks, the 40-year-old would use stolen and falsified identifications to cash them — and use the funds for personal expenses, like shopping outings. 

“Mr. Galker preyed upon the people in his community, his neighbors, to enrich himself with their money,” said United States Postal Inspection Service agent Daniel B. Brubaker. “Postal Inspectors’ mission is to protect the mail and members of the public, our customers, from becoming victims of fraud.”

In total, Galker stole at least $31,149 from unsuspecting victims, including the Jewish Communal Fund for local charities. 

He was tracked down by a joint effort of the USPIS, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office, and the Brooklyn District Attorney. 

“Mr. Galker stole from Brooklynites in need of help,” said DiNapoli in a statement. “Thanks to my office’s partnership with District Attorney Gonzalez and the United States Postal Inspection Service justice has been served in this case.”

Galker plead guilty to third-degree grand larceny before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. If he meets the conditions agreed upon in his plea deal, the charges will be reduced to petit larceny, while he is subject to one year behind bars if he violates the requirements. 

Banks were able to recover $14,258 on behalf of the victims, and Galker was ordered to repay the remaining $16,891 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 140 hours of community service.

Galker is due back in court on Nov. 1.

“This defendant stole checks from unsuspecting Brooklynites as well as local charities. Today’s plea holds him accountable for his crimes and sends a strong message that thefts like these will not be tolerated,” said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez. “I thank Comptroller DiNapoli’s Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service for their work on this case.”