D.C. Man Sentenced To Prison For Bank Fraud Scheme
Cashed Legitimate Checks Stolen from Mail Receptacles Using Fake ID in the Name of the Victim
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Dmitri Gerel Williams, age 29, of Washington, D.C., today to 30 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Judge Russell also ordered Williams to pay restitution of $19,288.50.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.
According to his plea, on March 1, 2013, Williams entered a BB&T branch in Annapolis and attempted to cash a check from a Bethesda, Maryland business that was made out to a victim CPA. Williams presented a District of Columbia driver’s license in the name of the victim, but with Williams’ photograph. The teller was suspicious and called the issuing business, where an employee confirmed the check was legitimate. The teller gave Williams $1,750 in cash and he left the bank. The business later reported fraud when the intended recipient reported that he never received the check in the mail.
On July 13, 2012, Williams went to the same BB&T branch in Annapolis and attempted to cash a check for $4,130. The check, which was made out to a different victim, had been stolen from a Bethesda mail collection receptacle. Williams presented the same teller with a fake District of Columbia driver’s license in the name of the new victim. This time the teller called the police and Williams fled, leaving the check and the driver’s license with the teller.
Williams admitted that from July 14, 2008, through July 10, 2012, he went to numerous banks and attempted to cash checks in the same manner: using fake identification in the name of the victim to cash legitimate checks stolen from U.S. Postal Service mail receptacles. The actual loss to the banks as a result of Williams’ conduct was $19,288.50.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam K. Ake, who prosecuted the case.