On May 26, a Jersey City man admitted his role in two bank robberies and one attempted bank robbery and to impersonating a federal agent, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
William “Cherif” Tedeschi, 48, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an indictment charging him with one count of bank robbery, one count of attempted bank robbery, and one count of impersonating a federal agent. The federal government charged Tedeschi by indictment in December 2019, and his co-defendants were charged in the same indictment for their roles in a Union City bank robbery.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court on Sept. 8, 2019, Tedeschi entered a Jersey City business purporting to be an FBI agent soliciting donations for a fictitious charity benefiting law enforcement.
This isn’t the first time Tedeschi impersonated law enforcement. According to court records, he has been charged and plead guilty to other incidents of impersonating law enforcement in both Essex and Bergen counties. In the summer of 2016 Hoboken Police officers arrested him after he solicited donations posing as a an officer with the Hudson County Police Department, which doesn’t exist.
On Nov. 5, 2019, Tedeschi robbed a bank in Union City. His co-defendants Farouk Lazizi, 34, and Juan Rojas Hernandez, 19, also of Jersey City were alleged accomplices, splitting $10,200 in robbery proceeds.
Police arrived at Valley National Bank, 4405 Bergenline Ave., at 11 a.m. and were told that a man, later identified as Tedeschi, approached a teller with a note demanding cash. No weapon was shown, but the teller gave the man cash, and he left the building. That man was identified roughly an hour later as Tedeschi.
Because that’s where the money is
On Nov. 16, 2019, Tedeschi attempted to rob a Bank of America in Newark, and on Nov. 26, 2019, Tedeschi robbed a Bank of America in Elizabeth.
The bank robbery charges to which Tedeschi pleaded guilty carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine; the impersonation of a federal officer charge carries a maximum penalty of three years and a $250,000 fine.
Tedeschi’s will be sentenced on Oct. 1.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Jersey City Police Department, Elizabeth Police Department, Newark Police Department, and Union City Police Department for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cymetra M. Williams of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care Fraud Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations against Lazizi and Hernandez are merely accusations. They are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Lazizi plead not guilty at his arraignment in January and was granted a continuation on May 21. His case is ongoing.
Hernandez plead not guilty at his arraignment in March, and he was granted a continuation on May 21. His case is also ongoing.