News and Press Releases

Lexington Man Sentenced For Fraud, Identity Theft

October 12, 2011

Defendant Operated Thomasville DMV Tag Office

Greensboro, N.C. – United States Attorney Ripley Rand announced that Danny Michael Hancock, age 59, of Lexington, North Carolina, was sentenced October 6, 2011, in federal court on multiple counts of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Senior United States District Judge N. Carlton Tilley, Jr., sentenced Hancock to 45 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He will begin serving his sentence not later than November 18, 2011. Hancock was also ordered to pay approximately $15,000.00 in restitution to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and to forfeit proceeds from the scheme in the total amount of $607,517.32.

Hancock conducted a “skip title” scheme to defraud in which he falsified vehicle titles to conceal from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles that he was acting as a motor vehicle dealer without the license required under North Carolina law. In particular, Hancock falsified the titles of motor vehicles he sold to create an official record omitting himself from the title history of the vehicle. This scheme allowed Hancock to avoid North Carolina Highway Use Tax and title fees due on these vehicles. It also allowed Hancock to conceal that he was selling motor vehicles at the same time that he was operating a Division of Motor Vehicles license plate agency in Thomasville, North Carolina. DMV regulations and the terms of Hancock’s license plate agency contract with DMV prohibit the operator of a license plate agency from being a motor vehicle dealer while operating the license plate agency. In executing this scheme Hancock used the names of vehicle purchasers and salespeople without their permission to falsify titles. Hancock made use of the United States Mails to execute the “skip title” scheme.

Hancock was convicted of the charges against him on October 25, 2010, following a five-day jury trial.

The case was investigated by agents of the U. S. Postal Service-Postal Inspection Service, the NC Division of Motor Vehicles, and the High Point Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Frank Chut and Bob Hamilton.

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