News and Press Releases

portsmouth woman convicted of conspiring to commit bank fraud

September 16, 2010

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Shanda L. Gilyard, age 38, of Portsmouth, Virginia, was convicted late Wednesday afternoon by a federal jury sitting in Newport News, Virginia.  Gilyard was first indicted in March, 2010 for her participation in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and possessing and uttering false securities related to a counterfeit check scheme operating on the Southside and Peninsula. 
            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the jury returned the verdict before the Honorable Jerome B. Friedman.

            In June 2010, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging her with additional counts of bank fraud, possession of counterfeit securities and aggravated identity theft. According to the evidence introduced at trial, from 2007 through 2010, Gilyard and other conspirators engaged in a scheme to create and pass counterfeit company checks at various banks throughout the Tidewater area.  She recruited individuals to provide copies of legitimate checks that were then used by Gilyard to create counterfeit checks on a computer.  Gilyard recruited individuals to present and cash these counterfeit checks at various financial institutions and other businesses, including TowneBank, Wal-Mart, Food Lion and V-Com, causing losses in excess of $50,000.  She also recruited individuals to open bank accounts at TowneBank that were used to cash counterfeit checks. She promised and provided payment to these individuals and others for their participation in cashing counterfeit checks. Gilyard was also charged with aggravated identity theft as she used other individuals identities to cash counterfeit checks.
            The trial began before the Honorable Jerome Friedman September 13, 2010, in the United States Courthouse in Newport News.  Following the presentation of more than twenty witnesses and eighty exhibits, including over fifty counterfeit checks, over three days, the jury found the defendant guilty of all fifteen counts of the superseding indictment.  Sentencing is set for December 16, 2010, at 9:15 am at the United States Courthouse in Norfolk, Virginia.  Gilyard faces a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison on the conspiracy and bank fraud counts; a maximum sentence of ten years on each of the possession of counterfeit securities counts; and a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of two years on the aggravated identity theft conviction.  

            This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Brian J. Samuels and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kate Albrecht prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

             A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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