FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
APRIL 9, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEFENDANTS SENTENCED IN SCHEME INVOLVING
COUNTERFEIT BUSINESS CHECKS
Over 10 Victims Incurred Losses Totaling Over $500,000
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Benjamin Steven Davis, age 40, of Baltimore today to seven years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for bank fraud arising from a counterfeit check organization, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Garbis also ordered that Davis forfeit a vehicle used in furtherance of the bank fraud scheme. Co-defendant Binica Nicole Brooks, age 28, of Towson, was also sentenced today to a year and a day in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit bank fraud arising from the same scheme.
According to their guilty pleas, Davis and his brother, Barry Elijah Davis, operated a counterfeit check organization. Their cousin, Brooks, acted as the office manager for the organization and created counterfeit corporate checks. Brooks and other members of the ring would also recruit individuals to present the bogus checks for payment at stores or banks.
Alternately, the Davis brothers would cause the recruits to open bank accounts and obtain ATM cards. The brothers would obtain the ATM card from the recruit, cause fraudulent checks to be deposited into the account and then withdraw or attempt to withdraw the money from the banks.
The amount of checks presented during this scheme, but which were not honored, exceeded $1 million. The actual loss resulting from the conspirators’ conduct exceed $500,000, and involved more than 10 victims.
Barry Davis, age 38, also of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to mail fraud. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. His sentencing was postponed pending the outcome of conspiracy, bank fraud and mail fraud charges that he faces in connection with a similar check fraud scheme in the Western District of Kentucky.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the U.S. Secret Service, Maryland State Police, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore County Police Department. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Gallagher and Barbara Sale, who are prosecuting the case.