Houston Women Charged in Bank Fraud/Identity Theft Case
|July 22, 2014|
HOUSTON - Tonya Beverly, 38, and Leatrice Reynaud, 43, both of Houston, have been arrested following the return of a 20-count indictment alleging conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Both are expected to make their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy today.
The indictment was returned under seal July 16, 2014, and unsealed yesterday upon their arrest.
Beverly and Reynaud allegedly created at least 33 false and fraudulent USAA customer profiles, which included checking and savings accounts, using the identification information of individuals without their knowledge or permission. According to the indictment, Beverly and Reynaud linked the false and fraudulent USAA accounts with the real bank accounts of the victims whose identification information was used and transferred money from the real accounts into the false and fraudulent USAA accounts.
Further, the indictment alleges that the two received and used debit cards issued to the false and fraudulent USAA accounts to withdraw cash from ATM machines and make purchases, including plane tickets. In addition to the conspiracy and bank fraud, the indictment alleges Beverly and Reynaud unlawfully used the identification of at least eight individuals as part of their bank fraud scheme.
The indictment includes a notice of forfeiture in the amount of $106,383 in allegedly unlawful proceeds.
In a related case, co-conspirator Demetria Jones, 40, also of Houston, was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The criminal information charging Jones was filed yesterday in Houston federal court. She is expected to surrender to authorities Wednesday, July 23, 2014.
A conviction for conspiracy or bank fraud carries a possible punishment of up to 30 years in federal prison and/or a possible $1 million fine. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, Beverly and Reynaud further face a $250,000 fine and a mandatory two years in federal prison which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Julie Redlinger is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.