ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A former Ganesvoort man was sentenced to five years of probation on Wednesday for a money laundering conspiracy set up to conceal proceeds from a multi-state unemployment insurance fraud scheme. Christopher Vandermark, 57, now a resident of Endicott, N.Y., previously pleaded guilty to charges.
According to law enforcement, Vandermakr admitted that he spoke with another co-conspirator online to open accounts at several financial institutions and give her the routing information for his current accounts. Vandermark spoke with this co-conspirator, who represented herself as a woman living in North Carolina, and he continually received fraudulent transfers of more than $88,000 in unemployment insurance benefits across six states.
Law enforcement says Vandermark would purchase hundreds of gift cards using the benefits, take pictures of the identifying numbers of the cards, and send them to the other co-conspirator. The co-conspirator would then sell the gift cards online, trying to conceal the source of the cards.
Law enforcement says Vandermark admitted to receiving and ignoring multiple warnings from multiple financial institutions that his actions were helping aid an unemployment insurance fraud scheme. Law enforcement interviewed him regarding roughly $37,000 of fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits transferred to his local bank, to which he falsely denied holding the account and receiving the funds. Law enforcement says he then opened another account, receiving an additional $13,734 in benefits from three states, using them to purchase more gift cards to photograph and send to his co-conspirator.