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June 25, 2010

HOUSTON LOAN BROKER SENTENCED TO PRISON

(HOUSTON) - Dana Pickens, also known as Dana Davis-Pickens, of Indianapolis, Ind., has been sentenced today to 24 months in prison for submitting fraudulent invoices for payment to El Paso Corporation, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. U.S. District Court Judge Gray Miller handed down the sentence today in federal court in Houston.

Pickens, 40, pleaded guilty on Feb. 25, 2009, to a superseding criminal information charging her with conspiring to submit altered and fraudulent invoices totaling $166,580 to El Paso Corporation. In addition to the prison term, Judge Miller ordered Pickens to pay $53,307 in restitution to El Paso Corporation and to serve three years of supervised release upon her release from prison.   

The charges against Pickens are the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service. While most people associate the Secret Service with presidential protection, the Secret Service’s investigative responsibilities include crimes involving financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency’s core violations. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Belinda Beek.

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