new york residents sentenced on counterfeit receipt fraud scheme
St. Louis, MO – These five New York residents traveled from New York to St. Louis returning stolen merchandise to various retail stores using counterfeit driver’s licenses and receipts.
According to court documents, on November 29, 2012, Maryland Heights police officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven by Ishaan Davis. A subsequent search revealed Toshiba laptop computers, a Star TSP 100 Future Print receipt printer, document making card stock, counterfeit State of Florida and New York driver's licenses in Davis’ name and the names of others, and assorted clothing bearing sales tags. Further investigation revealed two rooms in which Davis, Shonta V. Simpson and William Randall Estes were registered. In addition to items similar to those found in Davis’ car, in the hotel rooms, the officers found boxes of additional clothing with tags, which had been mailed from Leo Lewis in New York to Davis in St. Louis, as well as receipts showing wire transfers of money from Davis to Lewis and Ingrid Millsaps.
Through his plea in November, Davis admitted that he utilized the equipment and the laminated card stock to produce counterfeit drivers’ licenses and merchant receipts so that Simpson and Estes could return stolen merchandise for cash in states including Missouri, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Thirteen different driver's licenses for various states were found bearing the photographs of Simpson, Estes and others. Ann Taylor, The Loft stores, and The Gap were among the stores targeted by the counterfeit receipt scheme. Simpson had been recruited by Davis and Leo Lewis recruited Estes to participate in the fraudulent scheme. Estes received a daily rate for his participation and Simpson was promised a percentage of the money received when she returned the stolen items.
The merchandise that was fraudulently returned was stolen by individuals such as co-defendant Ingrid Millsaps from stores located in, and near, the Brooklyn, New York area. In general, Millsaps was able to steal merchandise valued at $5,000 within two to three days, which she then provided to Davis and others. On one occasion, in order to comply with a request for merchandise, Millsaps stole clothing and items valued at approximately $60,000 during a two to three week period. Millsaps also stole receipt tape and proprietorial store information from retailers, such as Ann Taylor, in order to facilitate the fraudulent scheme. Millsaps and Davis engaged in the criminal activity for approximately 11 years. Lewis admitted participating in the scheme in 2004 and 2012. Through their pleas, they agreed that a conservative estimate would place the loss as exceeding $400,000.
LEO LEWIS, Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced today to 41 months in prison.
The following co-defendants, entered guilty pleas and have been sentenced:
- Ingrid Millsaps, Brooklyn, New York, sentenced to 87 months in prison
- Shonta Simpson, Brooklyn, New York, sentenced to 18 months in prison
- William Estes, Brooklyn, New York, sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison
- Ishaan Davis, Springfield Gardens, New York, sentenced to 87 months prison
The case was investigated by the City of Maryland Heights Police Department and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.