News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

FRIDAY - February 20, 2009

JACKSONVILLE WOMAN INDICTED FOR COUNTERFEIT SCAM

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced today that on February 19, 2009, a Grand Jury returned an eight-count Indictment against ANN LAUREL RUTLEDGE, 50, of Jacksonville, North Carolina, charging her with participating with others in a scam that distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit forms of currency across the United States.

According to the Indictment, RUTLEDGE knowingly took delivery of parcels mailed from Nigeria that contained counterfeit federal reserve notes, money orders, bank checks, and gift checks, among other counterfeit items, and further that she mailed the items to persons in other states, according to directions given to her by a co-conspirator. The United States mail and commercial interstate carriers were utilized to distribute the illegal parcels.

The Indictment also alleges that as part of the scheme to defraud RUTLEDGE attempted to pay for a wire of money to Nigeria using counterfeit hundred dollar bills, and that she deposited counterfeit checks into her credit union accounts and withdrew legitimate currency from the accounts based upon the fraudulent deposits. Once withdrawn from her accounts, the money was allegedly sent to Nigeria.

The charges and their maximum penalties include: Conspiring to commit an offense, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, up to five years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000; aiding and abetting bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344, up to 25 years imprisonment followed by up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000; uttering counterfeit obligations or securities, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 472, up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000; aiding and abetting mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, up to 20 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Mr. Holding commented, “These types of international scams are sadly, all too common today. They take many forms. Here, the scam posed a direct threat to the integrity of our currency system. I applaud the work of the Secret Service in this case.”

An Indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the burden of the united states to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Yvonne V. Watford-McKinney is in charge of the prosecution.

 

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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