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Three individuals indicted on scam targeting retirees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2012

St. Louis, MO - Andre Depass, Nollis Hudson and Jayneise Hampton were indicted for their alleged participation in a scam targeting retirees residing throughout the United States.

According to the indictment, between November 2009 and March 2012, Nollis Hudson telephoned retirees to advise them that they had won the Jamaican lottery and that they needed to electronically transmit or mail funds to pay the taxes on their prize. The indictment alleges that Nollis Hudson used the personal information obtained from the retirees and through other means to obtain electronic access to accounts held by Social Security beneficiaries. Through the access, the indictment alleges that Hudson was able to change the method by which the retirees received their Social Security retirement benefits to financial accounts Hudson controlled, as well as their mailing address to the St. Louis address of Andre DePass and Jayneise Hampton. The changes would cause the Treasury Department to disburse the retirees’ benefits to prepaid debit cards tied to the fraudulently obtained financial accounts through which DePass and Hampton would make purchases and withdraw funds. DePass and Hampton kept 20% of the value of the cards, and wired the balance to Hudson in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

ANDRE DEPASS, 31, St. Louis, MO, and NOLLIS HUDSON, Montego Bay, Jamaica were each indicted by a federal grand jury on two felony counts of wire fraud, one felony count of mail fraud, one felony count of conspiracy to defraud and one felony count of identity theft. DePass was also charged with a felony count of possession of 15 unauthorized access devices, while Hudson was charged with one felony count of aggravated identity theft. JAYNEISE HAMPTON, St. Louis, MO, was indicted on two felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of conspiracy. Depass and Hampton are scheduled to appear in federal court Friday morning.

If convicted, each count of wire and mail fraud carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; identity theft carries a maximum of 15 years prison; possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices carries a maximum of 10 years prison and conspiracy carries a maximum of 5 years in prison. The count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory term of 2 years of imprisonment that must be consecutive to any term of incarceration imposed. They also carry fines of $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, the Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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