News and Press Releases

Memphis-Area Men Indicted For Fraudulent Loan Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2013

Memphis, TN – Demarlon Simmons, 40, of Cordova, TN, and Bernal E. Smith II, 41 of Olive Branch, MS, were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury for their roles in a fraudulent loan scheme, announced First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Kimbril-Parks.

The indictment alleges that from July 2007 through January 2009, Simmons and Smith conspired to defraud Swift Capital of Wilmington, DE, through the use of third-party “co-signers.” The co-signer would be paid 10 percent of the value of the loan; Smith would receive a fee for finding the co-signers; and Simmons would receive the balance of the loan. Simmons was the owner of On Tha Grind Records. Smith was working as a loan officer at the Hope Credit Union a/k/a “Hope Community Bank” branch in Memphis.

Both men are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000; six counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in addition to any other sentence.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Deb Ireland is representing the government.

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The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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