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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Indictment: Kansas Man Created False Identities In Scheme To Re-sell DVDs And Blue-ray Movies

 

WICHITA, KAN. – A Derby, Kan., man has been indicted on federal charges of creating dozens of false identities in order to qualify for discounts on the purchase of DVD and Blue-ray movies by joining the Disney Movie Club and Columbia House DVD Club and then re-selling the movies, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Harvey C. Self, 45, Derby, Kan., is charged with nine counts of mail fraud, one count of money laundering and two counts of tax fraud. The indictment alleges Self resold DVDs and Blue-ray movies on eBay and Amazon and collected payments using PayPal.

The indictment alleges the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has identified 28 different mailing addresses Self created at post offices or commercial carrier boxes in Derby, Kechi, Andover, Haysville, Peck, Benton, Winfield, Valley Center, Udall, Oxford, Clearwater, Mulvane, Wichita, Augusta and Goddard. The list of false names he is alleged to have used incudes Michael Wittman, Jamie Davis, Stephanie Vogel, Jossalyn Hanna, Phil Scott, Scott Philips, Greg Clark, Joe Green, Jimmy Jackson, John Foster, Will Enos, Kevin Griffin, Travis Powell, Jennifer Lewis, Kami Anderson, Savannah Clayton and Jessie Hannaself.

The indictment alleges that investigators seized 2,833 DVDs and Blu-ray discs when they served a search warrant at Self’s home in Derby.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each count of mail fraud, a maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $500,000 on the money laundering count and a maximum penalty of three years and a fine up to $100,000 on each tax fraud count. The FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations and the Internal Revenue Service investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith is prosecuting.

OTHER INDICTMENTS

Chrystal M. Scherbarth, 30, Altoona, Kan., the former city clerk of the City of Altoona, is charged with three counts of bank fraud. The crimes are alleged to have occurred from June 2011 to November 2013 in Altoona.

The indictment alleges Scherbarth used her access to the city payroll system to embezzle money from the city. The indictment alleges she overpaid herself by raising her own salary, issuing unauthorized checks to herself and paying herself for vacation and sick leave she had not earned. The indictment also alleges the City of Altoona identified more than $36,000 worth of unauthorized charges on a credit card used by Scherbarth.

If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Smith is prosecuting.

Melchor Ramirez-Romero, 39, a citizen of Mexico who has been living in Liberal, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found July 31, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

 If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Auner Gumercindo Vail-Lucas, 30, a citizen of Guatemala, is charged with unlawfully re-entering the United States after being deported. He was found Aug. 7, 2014, in Allen County, Kan.

 If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson is prosecuting.

Teresa Magna, 51, Spring Valley, Calif., is charged with one count of distributing methamphetamine and one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crime is alleged to have occurred Aug. 6, 2014, in Russell County, Kan

 If convicted, she faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years and a fine up to $5 million on the distribution charge, and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other count. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lind is prosecuting.

Brandi Meadows, 31, Oklahoma City, Okla., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crime is alleged to have occurred Aug. 11, 2014, in Sedgwick County, Kan.

If convicted, she faces a penalty of not less than 10 years and a fine up to $4 million on the possession count and a maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other count. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

Crystal Zoe Amarillas-Norzagaray, 23, Tuscon, Ariz., and Pilar Angel Leon-Beltran, 35, Tuscon, Ariz., are charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to distribute 103 kilograms of marijuana and one count of possession with intent to distribute 103 kilograms of marijuana. In addition, Leon-Beltran is charged with one count of aggravated illegal re-entry and one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking. In addition, Amarillas-Norzagaray is charged with one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Dec. 30, 2013, in Ellis County, Kan.

 Upon convictions, the crimes carry the following penalties:
Conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.
Aggravated re-entry: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $250,000.
Interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.

 The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

 Hector Manuel Briceno, 25, Paramount, Calif., is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of interstate travel in furtherance of drug trafficking. The crimes are alleged to have occurred Aug. 17, 2014, in Sherman County, Kan.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than 10 years and fine up to $4 million on the possession charge, and a maximum penalty of 5 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the other count. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.