News and Press Releases

Floridian Sentenced To 27 Months In Prison For Fraud Scheme

May 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Sorrento, Fla., was sentenced in federal court on May 11, 2011, to 27 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release on his conviction of mail and wire fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Richard Shumaker, 69.

According to information presented to the court, Shumaker participated in a conspiracy with other individuals, including an employee of American Express, to defraud American Express.  Shumaker directed that another co-conspirator open merchant accounts with American Express that permitted the co-conspirator to accept payments from customers through the use of their American Express cards.

Shumaker and others opened American Express business accounts. Shumaker and other co-conspirators then used the merchant accounts to process millions of dollars worth of purported charges from those American Express business accounts, in which those businesses purported to pay the merchant for goods and services with American Express cards that, in fact, had not been provided.  Co-conspirators provided false names to American Express to avoid internal control measures at American Express designed to prevent fraud, and prepared false invoices to conceal the fraud. In addition, Shumaker caused the payment of American Express bills associated with a card or cards using the proceeds of fraudulent charges on different card or cards to promote and prolong the fraud scheme.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Postal Inspection Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Shumaker.

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