News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - November 25, 2008

SIBLINGS PLED GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT AND RELATED CHARGES

RALEIGH - Acting United States Attorney John S. Bruce announced that in federal court here yesterday MELISSA RENEE HEGGIE, 29, of Grimesland, North Carolina and her brother, MARVIN R. HEGGIE, 27, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle. Both MELISSA and MARVIN pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud, aiding and abetting mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

On September 24, 2008, a Federal Grand Jury returned an Indictment charging the HEGGIES along with Travis S. Hunter and Derrick King. From June, 2007, to March, 2008, the HEGGIES were involved in a scheme to defraud JP Morgan Chase Bank out of money by submitting fraudulent student loan applications to Chase Bank.

The HEGGIES recruited approximately 14 people to provide their social security numbers and other identifying information by telling them they could make some quick money by applying for a loan. Once the individuals supplied the HEGGIES with their social security card and identification, a student loan application would be submitted to Chase Bank via the Internet using the information provided by the individuals. The application would contain false information including the individual’s status as a college student. After all of the paperwork was complete, a check would be mailed via U.S. Mail from JP Morgan Chase to the applicant, but to an address used by the HEGGIES. MELISSA or MARVIN would then contact the applicant and all would go to cash the check. The investigation also revealed that MELISSA secured a driver’s license in the name of one of the individual’s name that provided her social security card and identification. MELISSA then used that identification to secure a loan in the amount of $28,000.00.

During the course of the scheme, JP Morgan Chase was defrauded out of over $340,000.00.

Mr. Bruce commented: “The student loan program and the overall integrity of our banking system depends upon honesty and fair-dealing. The defendants abused that system by representing themselves to be eligible for loans to which they did not qualify and they defrauded the victim banks out of a great deal of money. We look forward to seeking justice in this case at sentencing.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening served as prosecutor for the government.

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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