Three Indicted For Passing Counterfeit Checks At Retail Stores
MINNEAPOLIS—Last week in federal court, three people were indicted through two
separate but related indictments for using counterfeit checks at retail businesses to purchase gift
cards and merchandise. The first indictment charges Ci’Preaunni Ja’Von Stewart, age 21, no
known address, and Ryan Lamarr Chambers, unknown age and address, with 19 counts of bank
fraud. The second indictment charges Jamee Leah Spillman, age 38, no known address, with 15
counts of bank fraud. Both were filed on January 19, 2012.
The indictments allege that from July through October of 2011, the defendants devised a
scheme to obtain money and goods of value through fraudulent means. Specifically, they
purportedly passed counterfeit checks at stores, primarily Target, to purchase merchandise.
They allegedly claimed the checks were traveler’s checks, causing their counterfeit nature to go
undetected for several days. The Target stores impacted were located in Buffalo, Burnsville,
Cottage Grove, Edina, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Oakdale, St. Cloud, Vadnais
Heights, and Woodbury. The purchases made by the three defendants totaled more than
If convicted, each defendant faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on
each count. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge. These cases are
the result of investigations by the United States Secret Service, the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, and the Minneapolis Police Department. They are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Steinkamp.
The Financial Crimes Task Force was established pursuant to state law. It is comprised of
local, state and federal law enforcement investigators, who work to combat the growing trend of
cross-jurisdictional financial crimes. The task force is overseen by an advisory board, also
created under state law.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.