United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Sacramento Man Is Sixth Conspirator To Plead Guilty In Bank Fraud And Mail Theft Scheme
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, May 07, 2012
Docket #: 2:11-cr-360-WBS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Paul W. Merchant, 49, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to felony conspiracy and bank fraud charges.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U. S. Postal Inspection Service and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez is prosecuting the case.
According to court documents, Merchant and others conspired to use altered stolen checks and money orders taken from stolen mail to obtain cash, goods and services from Sacramento County banks. According to court documents, co-conspirator Darryl M. Everett, 47, of Roseville, stole the mail on multiple occasions from the customer lobbies of the Discovery Post Office, Town and Country Post Office, and Strong Ranch Post Office. Everett altered the checks and money orders and organized others, including Merchant, to cash them. There were more than four banks and 20 postal customers victimized in the scheme.
Merchant is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge William B. Shubb on July 23, 2012. He faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The following defendants have been convicted and sentenced in this scheme:
1. On February 13, 2012, Everett was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release for multiple counts of bank fraud, mail theft, and conspiracy to commit such offenses. He was ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to his victims.
2. On January 23, 2012, Dantwoine Bishop, 35, of Sacramento, was sentenced to six months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release, for his conviction on a single count of misdemeanor bank larceny. He was ordered to pay restitution.
3. On January 23, 2012, Stanticha T. Middleton, 22, of Sacramento, was sentenced for her conviction on two counts of misdemeanor bank larceny. She was ordered to pay restitution and to serve one year probation.
4. On February 27, 2012, Steven B. Ethridge, 22, of Sacramento, was sentenced for his conviction on one count of misdemeanor bank larceny. He was ordered to pay restitution and to serve one year probation.