Covington Woman Sentenced to 21 Months for Fake Investment Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that RITCHEL MOREHEAD, age 41, a resident of Covington, Louisiana, was sentenced on April 7, 2022 to 21 months in prison for committing wire fraud in connection with a fake investment scheme.
The government charged MOREHEAD in a superseding bill of information with committing wire fraud from December 2018 through February 2019. According to court documents, MOREHEAD used a corporation, Chel Corporation, to defraud six victims by embezzling a total of $460,000 that was supposed to cover fees, costs, and down payments for multi-million-dollar loans, when in fact MOREHEAD spent the funds on personal expenses, such as jewelry and a vehicle, and transferred cash to accounts overseas. After MOREHEAD was charged, two additional individuals came forward as victims of the same scheme. Under the terms of the plea agreement, MOREHEAD pled guilty as charged to the superseding bill of information and agreed to pay at $460,000 in restitution to the victims of her scheme, plus amounts owed to any additional victims. The government has already seized $190,784.90 in cash and assets from MOREHEAD, and MOREHEAD pre-paid over $310,000 in restitution in advance of sentencing, for a total of approximately $501,000.
The Honorable Eldon E. Fallon sentenced MOREHEAD to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee. Judge Fallon set a restitution hearing for June 16, 2022, to determine the final amount of restitution that MOREHEAD will owe and the schedule for those payments.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas D. Moses oversees the prosecution.
Updated April 8, 2022