News and Press Releases

Defendant Indicted By Grand Jury for $380,000+ Fraud Using Phony Checks and Cash Withdrawals

February 14, 2008

Federal agents arrested 28-year-old DERICO MONTREY FULLER yesterday evening following his indictment for Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud. FULLER is the leader of a wide ranging bank fraud ring that has taken more than $380,000 from area banks. The U.S. Marshal’s Service had been looking for FULLER for two days and were distributing a “Wanted Poster” with FULLER’s photo when FULLER turned himself in at the office of a Tacoma attorney. Five other members of the bank fraud ring are already in custody.

According to records filed in the case, FULLER and his co-conspirators executed a scheme from March 2007, until this month that involved depositing fake checks into bank accounts to boost the account balance and then withdrawing large amounts of cash before the checks bounced. In this scheme the conspirators recruited others to give them their ATM card and PIN number. They would tell those who provided this information to report their card lost or stolen in a few days. Once the balance of the account was falsely inflated, and the cash drained, the account owner would claim to be a victim instead of a willing participant in the fraud. Two people who provided their account information and recruited others to the scheme have been charged in the conspiracy. ERICA L. PAGE, 20, of Seattle, Washington, and ANDRIA LYNN RUSSELL, 25, of Milton, Washington.

DERICO FULLER and his girlfriend CHRISTINA WHITE, 24, of Auburn, Washington, manufactured counterfeit checks purportedly drawn on legitimate business bank accounts. These counterfeit checks were typically produced using a computer and a laser jet or ink jet printer. ANDRE DEMARIO FULLER, 22, and TOMMONE KEMALL HUGHES, 24, recruited people to give up their ATM cards and pin numbers. In at least one instance a juvenile was approached at a gas station and was convinced to give up his card and pin number in exchange for cash.

FULLER will make his initial appearance on the indictment at noon today in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Trial is set for April 21, 2008, in front of U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman. Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $2,000.000 fine.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Social Security Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), King County Sheriff, and the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Fugitive Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman Barbosa.

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