NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, it was announced that 29-year-old Thierno O. Bah and 73-year-old Manuela Gonzalez-Bookman, both residents of New York, were indicted after being arrested by JPSO deputies back in February.
According to court documents, Bah and Gonzalez-Bookman flew from Newark Liberty International Airport to Louis Armstrong International Airport on February 18, 2020. They rented a car, and the following day Gonzalez-Bookman entered a Capital One bank branch while Bah waited in the car outside. Gonzalez-Bookman then attempted to cash a stolen check while using a false passport card in the name of another person.
The grand jury returned an indictment charging Bah and Gonzalez-Bookman with the following counts:
- Conspiracy to use a false passport
- Maximum 5 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine
- Conspiracy to commit bank fraud
- Maximum 30 years in prison and a maximum $1,000,000.00 fine
- Aaggravated identity theft
- Mandatory 2 years in prison consecutive to any other sentence and a $250,000.00 fine
U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that an indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and Homeland Security Investigations.
U.S. Attorney Strasser extended his thanks to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office for their assistance. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution