Englishman held in $89,000 scam City woman says man conned her with stolen insurance check.


A man who identified himself as a 27-year-old resident of Great Britain has been arrested and charged with bank fraud after a Baltimore woman complained to the FBI that he had conned her into cashing a stolen $89,000 check.

Thomas Fennessey, who gave his address as London, was taken into custody yesterday at a Towson motel, where he had arranged to meet the woman but instead met FBI officers. The FBI issued a warrant for Fennessey's arrest after the woman reported in a signed affidavit that Fennessey had swindled her.

The woman, who was not identified, told FBI officers that she had known Fennessey for three months when he asked her to cash an insurance check through her Maryland National Bank account after telling her he did not have an account of his own.

According to the affidavit, the woman deposited a check for $89,712 in her account on June 12 under Fennessey's direction. Two days later, the woman followed Fennessey's instructions to withdraw $14,000 in cash, and obtain three cashier's checks in the amounts of $15,000, $25,000, and $35,000. The $15,000 cashier's check was made out to Fennessey, and the two others were made out to names that the FBI believes are fictitious.

On June 26, Maryland National Bank was notified by the Lexington Insurance Company in England and the Chase Bank in England that the $89,712 check had been stolen.

Fennessey contacted the woman last week, and she agreed to meet him at a Towson motel. She notified the FBI and stayed away from the scene while agents arrested him at 1:30 p.m yesterday.

FBI officials said Fennessey, who also gave them several New York addresses, may be providing a false identity. He was to be taken before a U.S. magistrate today.

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