BY TRONE DOWD
A Far Rockaway bank employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing $650,000 from the estates of two Queens sisters following their deaths in 2013 and 2014.
Joshua Stephens-Anselm, 27, is accused of stealing the money between June 2016 and July 2017, funneling the cash from the JP Morgan Chase accounts of Edith Thompson, who died in December 2013, and her sister Marjorie Thompson, who died in November 2014.
According to Queens district attorney’s office, the scheme began with the defendant allegedly issuing checks to himself from the sisters’ accounts. He eventually began to allegedly dip into the accounts using a Chase app on his cell phone to make electronic payments.
An investigation of the two estates showed more than $590,000 was stolen from the estate of Marjorie Thompson and another $70,000 taken from the estate of Edith Thompson. Chase has since reimbursed both estates.
Stephens-Anselm is currently awaiting arraignment at Queens Criminal Court on second degree grand larceny charges. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
“This trusted bank employee took advantage of his access to enrich himself,” Queens DARichard Brown said. “Using the accounts as if they were his own personal piggy banks, the defendant is alleged to have not only paid his living expenses, but also spent the money on luxuries like hotels and vacations and partying at Hookah bars. If the allegations are proven true, the defendant will face a long term of incarceration as a result of his greed.”