Albuquerque Couple Arraigned On Federal Wire Fraud Charges Arising Out Of Alleged Scheme To Defraud Office Supply Business
ALBUQUERQUE – Matthew Channon, 36, and his wife Brandi Channon, 33, both of Albuquerque, N.M., were arraigned in federal court this morning on an eleven-count indictment charging them with wire fraud. Both entered not guilty pleas and were released under pretrial supervision pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
The indictment alleges that the Channons engaged in unlawful schemes to defraud OfficeMax of more than $100,000.00 by creating numerous MaxPerk Rewards accounts in fictitious names, addresses and phone numbers in order to avoid OfficeMax’s policy of issuing only one account per person, and using the accounts to claim rewards from OfficeMax to which they were not entitled.
Counts 1 through 6 of the indictment, each of which charges Matthew Channon with wire fraud, allege that, between March 2010 and Sept. 2010, Matthew Channon perpetuated a scheme to defraud OfficeMax by creating more than 5,400 MaxPerk Rewards accounts; using OfficeMax receipts for purchases made by other customers to claim rewards that were issued to accounts he controlled; purchasing items at OfficeMax using the rewards; and reselling the items for cash. Matthew Channon allegedly falsely claimed almost 47,700 purchases for MaxPerk Rewards accounts that he controlled, generating more than $180,000.00 in rewards that were issued to those accounts.
Counts 7 through 10 of the indictment, each of which charges Matthew and Brandi Channon with wire fraud, allege that, between Sept. 2009 through June 2011, Matthew and Brandi Channon engaged in a scheme to defraud OfficeMax by using MaxPerk Rewards accounts to obtain rewards through the company’s ink and toner cartridge recycling program. The Channons allegedly created approximately 120 MaxPerk Rewards accounts; purchased thousands of used ink and toner cartridges at low cost; and presented approximately 24,935 of used ink and toner cartridges for recycling at OfficeMax, causing approximately $74,800.00 in rewards to be issued to MaxPerk Rewards accounts they controlled.
Count 11 of the indictment charges the Channons with conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with the scheme charged in Counts 7 through 10. The indictment also includes forfeiture allegations which seek to forfeit property constituting or derived from the proceeds of the Channons’ illegal activities. It seeks a money judgment in the amount of $109,158.13, the money the Channons allegedly derived from their unlawful conduct.
A conviction on each of the eleven counts in the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine. An indictment is merely an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Paige Messec.