2008-07-04 / Top Stories

Multiple Busts Of Rikers Guards

One Provides Drugs, Other Steals Identity
By Nicholas Briano

It was all in a day's work for several Rikers Island Correction Officers who were busted recently in two separate incidents involving identity theft and an accusation of supplying an alleged cop killer inmate with drugs and booze.

In the latter case, the three Rockaway residents charged with the murder of Brooklyn Police Officer Russell Timoshenko got another adjournment last week of a hearing that will decide if statements they made after the arrests can be used in court.

The adjournment came in the wake of charges by corrections officials that two Rikers Island guards supplied Rockaway resident Lee Woods, one of those charged with the murder, with marijuana and alcohol.

Woods, who was allegedly driving the stolen SUV the night Police Officer Timoshenko was shot in the face during a traffic stop, allegedly received the contraband from correction officers Auguste Durand, 31, and Michael Santiago, 24, both of whom have now been terminated by the agency.

The motive for the two providing drugs and alcohol to Woods is unclear, but there is some indication that they had a prior relationship with the prisoner.

The pre-trial hearing for the three men has been rescheduled to July 8, court officials say.

In a separate incident, a Rockaway resident who works as a corrections officer has been charged with stealing his sister-in-law's identity in order to open a credit account at a jewelry store, as well as with writing himself a check from her personal account, according to a statement by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

"Identity theft is a growing problem and it is disheartening to have a member of the law enforcement community allegedly engaging in this serious crime, " Brown said in a press release.

The accused is Paulin Montauban, 39, of 434 Beach 58 Street in Arverne.

He was arrested last Thursday at Rikers and arraigned on charges of second-degree forgery, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree falsifying business records, second-degree identity theft, petit larceny, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and thirddegree unlawful possession of personal identifying information.

Montauban, has been suspended from his job while he goes through criminal proceedings and could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The DA says the investigation began when the victim, Rajinder Montauban, found a bank statement from her checking account in September 2007, which contained a cancelled check for the sum of $180 made out to the defendant, allegedly in the defendant's handwriting and with the victim's name fraudulently signed on the check.

In addition, Montauban claims in her statement to the court that in April she received a statement from Zales jewelers stating that she owed the jewlery shop $577.36 for a watch purchased through an account that had been opened in her name and with her social security number, but which listed a previous address she used in Florida.

The alleged identity thief was investigated by detectives of the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway.

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