DEBRA W. YANG
United States Attorney
Central District of California
Thom Mrozek, Public Affairs Officer
February 16, 2005
10 ARRESTED IN SCHEME THAT STOLE $18 MILLION WORTH OF TAX-REFUND CHECKS FROM POST OFFICE
Ten people involved in a scheme that led to the theft of approximately 6,700 tax-refund checks worth about $18 million were arrested this morning on federal conspiracy charges. The 10 arrested this morning are among 20 defendants who were indicted last Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana.
The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to steal United States Treasury checks from a postal facility and, with the help of employees known as "inside plugs" at financial institutions and other businesses, to cash those checks. The conspiracy relied on a Postal Service employee to steal the checks, as well as "walkers" who obtained false identifications to help cash the checks.
Those arrested today were:
- Talcum Marsh III, 46, of Los Angeles, who allegedly orchestrated the scheme;
- Benjamin Marsh, 39, of Woodland Hills, who allegedly worked with his brother to oversee a conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the check-theft conspiracy;
- Rashaad Green, 26, of Long Beach, who allegedly acted as a "middleman" who delivered stolen checks to individuals who ctually cashed the checks;
- Eric Muhammad, 26, of Venice, who allegedly assisted Talcum Marsh in distributing stolen checks to "middlemen";
- Timothy Jones, 36, of Corona, who allegedly acted as a "middleman";
- Marvin Miller, 32, of Orange, who allegedly was an "inside plug" at the Alameda Market in Orange and who assisted a co-defendant negotiate stolen checks;
- Eutonia Lewis, 35, of Corona, who allegedly operated as an "inside plug" at a Washington Mutual Bank branch in Corona;
Danielle Jones, 30, of Corona, a former employee of California Federal Bank who allegedly assisted the conspiracy negotiate at least one check worth nearly $60,000;
- Joel Boyd, 29, of San Celemente, who allegedly acted as a "walker" who cashed the stolen checks; and
- Robert Lobo, 36, of Costa Mesa, who also allegedly acted as a walker.
All 10 defendants are expected to make their initial court appearances this afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana.
The remaining 10 defendants are named in arrest warrants, but they are being allowed to surrender themselves to federal authorities. Those defendants, who are expected to be surrendering over the next week, are:
- George Hall, 47, of Rancho Cucamonga, who was the Postal Service employee who allegedly stole the Treasury checks;
- Corinthia Mims, 30, of Wildomar, who allegedly cash various stolen checks;
- Kyle Thompson, 34, of Santa Ana, who allegedly acted as a "walker";
- Cynthia Mims, 30, of Wildomar, Corinthia Mimís sister who is also accused of being a "walker";
- Sheila Watson, 40, of Los Angeles, another alleged "walker";
- Tenisha Steen, 37, of Tustin, who allegedly cashed checks on behalf of the conspiracy;
- Demetria Turner, 36, of Los Angeles, an alleged "inside plug" who worked at Nix Check Cashing in Los Angeles;
- Myra Rios, 34, of Santa Ana, who is alleged "inside plug" at Cash Plus in Stanton;
- Nelsy Rubio, 22, of Garden Grover, a second alleged "inside plug" at the Cash Plus in Stanton; and
- Susan Kenemixay, 26, of Los Angeles, an alleged "inside plug" at a Bank of America branch.
All of the defendants in this case, with the exception of Benjamin Marsh, are charged in two conspiracies - the first to steal the checks and the second to launder the proceeds of the scheme. These two charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 25 years in federal prison. The Marsh brothers are additionally charged with five counts of money laundering and five counts of structuring cash transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements, charges that could bring them another 150 years in prison.
In addition to the stolen check case, Talcum Marsh and Green are named in a second indictment that accuses them of trafficking in the club drug ecstasy, which could bring them another 20 years in prison.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service and IRS-Criminal Investigation Division.
Release No. 05-031
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