United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Federal Prisoner Convicted By A Jury On Fourteen Counts Of Attempting To File False Liens Against Federal Prison Officers
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Friday, May 25, 2012
Docket #: 1:11-cr-00297-LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that after a two day trial before District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, a federal jury found Denard Darnell Neal, 49, of Avondale, Ariz., guilty of fourteen counts of attempting to file false liens and encumbrances against federal prison officers in violation of the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007.
At trial, the evidence showed that in April 2010, Neal, while incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary Atwater, attempted to file false liens against the personal property of federal officers, specifically corrections officers and staff at the Atwater facility. Neal prepared false Uniform Commercial Code financing statements and security agreements purporting to make the officers his debtors. The false liens ranged in amounts from $5,000 to $45 million. Neal then attempted to send the documents to his mother with instructions on how she should file the liens with the California Secretary of State and Merced County Recorder.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Assistant United States Attorneys Ian Garriques and Jeremy Jehangiri are prosecuting the case.
Neal faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. Neal is scheduled to be sentenced on August 20, 2012, by Judge O’Neill.