5400 Federal Plaza, Suite 1500 Hammond, IN 46320
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: Mary L. Hatton|
|November 7, 2007||PHONE: (219) 937-5603|
|www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/||Fax: (219) 852-2770|
|WEEK IN REVIEW|
Hammond, IN—The United States Attorney's Office announced several events taking place in the District Court, Hammond, Indiana:
On November 7, 2007, SANTINA S. EDGERTON, 44, of Highland, Indiana, was sentenced to 27 months of incarceration and 3 years of supervised release and restitution of $239,719.64 to Tronics America, Inc. for Mail Fraud. Edgerton plead guilty to embezzling funds from Tronics America, Inc. in Merrillville, Indiana over a three year period. Edgerton, was sent to the victim by a local employment agency and was hired as the sole bookkeeper and manager. Her thefts went undetected until an audit by a New Zealand representative of the firm detected numerous unexplained payments. The investigation uncovered patterns of thefts from multiple accounts over the entire period of her employment. Edgerton would cause numerous corporate checks to be posted on her husband’s personal BMW VISA credit account, thus paying for her personal debt. Edgerton also devised a scheme wherein she prepared and signed numerous corporate checks made out to First USA Bank which she forwarded to a personal credit card account owned by the defendant and her husband. Edgerton, knowing that Tronics would contribute to her health care premiums and that she would be responsible for the added cost of a family member, enrolled her husband in the corporation’s health care plan and paid the premiums with corporate funds without deduction to her pay checks. This case was investigated by the FBI and the Merrillville, Indiana Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall M. Stewart.
On November 7, 2007, JOSHUA YUEN, 29, and JORDAN LEONARD, 27, both of Lafayette, Indiana, were sentenced to 8 months incarceration with 2 years supervised release and 3 years’ incarceration followed by 4 months home detention respectively, for Counterfeiting, Forging and Uttering Obligations and Securities of the United States. Leonard made the counterfeit money on his computer at his residence. Yuen and Leonard were apprehended after attempting to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at a Village Pantry. They had passed others at a Burger King and Walmart in Lafayette. This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Lafayette Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Nicholas J. Padilla.
On November 8, 2007, ELISHA EVANS, 26, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced to 2 years probation by Judge Moody following her felony conviction for making materially false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer in purchasing a .45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol for a convicted felon in November 2006. This case was investigated by the ATF/HIDTA Task Force with the assistance of the Gary Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean R. Lanter.
On November 8, 2007, JONNEL JEFFERSON, 25, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Lozano to 18 months imprisonment following his felony conviction for being a felon in possession of firearm in November 2006. Following the Hammond Police Department making two controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Jefferson, Hammond Police obtained a search warrant for Jefferson’s residence, after which Jefferson was arrested and found in possession of a .357 caliber firearm. Jefferson has a prior felony conviction for delivery of controlled substances. This case was investigated by the ATF/HIDTA Task Force, with the assistance of the Hammond Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean R. Lanter.
On November 8, 2007, Judge James Moody sentenced CHAD HARVEY, age 28, of Griffith, Indiana, to 51 months of incarceration for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant, in his plea agreement, admitted that on April 24, 2007, he knowingly possessed in and affecting interstate commerce a .22 caliber handgun. A review of the defendant’s criminal history indicated that he was convicted of Possession of Cocaine, Theft, and Criminal Recklessness, all Class D Felonies. At the time of the instant offense, the defendant was on state probation. The defendant has been detained since his arrest. This case was investigated by ATF/HIDTA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas J. Padilla.
On November 8, 2007, LARRY B. PETERSON, 53, of Louisville, Kentucky, was arrested following his September 2006 felony indictment for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The government has alleged that, in September 2006, after Merrillville and Hobart Police responded to 911 callers complaining of shots being fired, Peterson pointed a firearm at police and thereafter fled from them. Police apprehended Peterson and recovered the firearm he pointed at police. Peterson has prior felony convictions for burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The government has requested Peterson’s detention pending trial. This case is being investigated by the ATF/HIDTA Task Force, with the assistance of the Merrillville and Hobart Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean R. Lanter.
On November 9, 2007, RANDOLPH HOWARD, 30, of Chicago, Illinois, pled guilty before Judge Lozano to the felony offense of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In October 2004, Howard engaged in a cash back debit card fraud transaction at Harrah’s Casino in East Chicago, Indiana, in which Howard defrauded Bank One out of $2,912.99 through withdrawing money from his Bank One checking account at Harrah’s Casino shortly after a worthless check was deposited into the account. As part of his plea agreement, Howard agreed to pay restitution to Bank One in the full amount of the loss of $2,912.99. Howard remains on bond pending his February 6, 2008 sentencing at 12:30 p.m. This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Indiana State Police, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean R. Lanter.
On November 9, 2007, ROBERT JACKSON, 35, of Chicago, Illinois, was arrested following his indictment on felony charges of bank fraud and wire fraud, in violation of 18
U.S.C. Section 1343 and 1344. The government has alleged that in July 2004, Jackson defrauded Bank One out of $2,800 through a cash-back debit card scam conducted at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. Jackson remains on bond pending the outcome of the case. This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Indiana State Police, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean R. Lanter.
The specific sentence in each case to be imposed upon conviction will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that these indictments are merely allegations and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.