Oakland Woman Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud, Multiple Counts Of Access Device Fraud
OAKLAND, Calif. – Cherryl Worley, a/k/a Cherryl Ferguson, pleaded guilty in federal court today to bank fraud and multiple counts of access device fraud relating to a far-reaching scheme involving numerous identity theft victims, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
In pleading guilty, Worley, 38, of Oakland, Calif., admitted to stealing the names, dates of birth, social security numbers and residential addresses of patients, physicians, and other individuals from her various places of employment in the Northern District of California, including medical offices, where she had access to personal identification information. Worley primarily targeted victims who had the same first name as her, “Cheryl,” or variations thereof. Worley used the information she stole without the knowledge or consent of the victims to obtain credit from financial institutions for the purpose of defrauding those institutions, the individual victims whose identity information was used to acquire the credit, and the merchants or other businesses from which she purchased or attempted to purchase merchandise or services. In her plea agreement, Worley has agreed to pay $141,970.33 in restitution and to forfeit ninety seized items, including the computers used to make fraudulent purchases using other individuals’ identities and proceeds of her crimes such as eighty-three pairs of footwear.
The sentencing of Worley is scheduled for June 22, 2012, before Judge D. Lowell Jensen in Oakland. The maximum statutory penalty for bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344(1) and (2), is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The maximum statutory penalty for access device fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(2), is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Deborah Douglas is the Assistant United States Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Assistant Daniel Charlier-Smith. The prosecution is the result of an extensive investigation by the United States Secret Service.