Two Plead Guilty to Federal Wire Fraud Connected to Scheme to Defraud The Department of Veteran Affairs
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announces the sentencing of TERRENCE NEALY, age 33, of Rockville Centre, New York, by U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman. On January 20, 2021, Judge Feldman sentenced NEALY to 33 months in prison pursuant to his prior guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. NEALY was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $200 mandatory special assessment. NEALY is the last of two defendants to be sentenced in this case. These charges arose from NEALY’S June 2019 trip with his co-defendant, Myles Nicholas, to southeast Louisiana where they attempted to commit fraud at several Baton Rouge-area Best Buy stores.
According to court documents, members of the Louisiana Financial Crimes Task Force received information that NEALY and Nicholas, would be flying to New Orleans from New York on the morning of June 21, 2019. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and U.S. Secret Service agents initiated surveillance at New Orleans International Airport, where they observed NEALY and Nicholas arrive on their flight from New York’s JFK Airport. NEALY and Nicholas then rented a car and immediately drove to Baton Rouge. While in Baton Rouge, the defendants opened a $4,000 line of credit at a Best Buy store using a stolen identity. Shortly thereafter, however, their attempt to purchase an Apple MacBook Pro using that line of credit was denied. NEALY and Nicholas returned to their car and drove back to New Orleans. Later that day, they were arrested near their hotel in downtown New Orleans by state and federal members of the Louisiana Financial Crimes Task Force.
Myles Nicholas previously pleaded guilty in this case. He was sentenced to 25 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the agencies that contributed to this conviction, which represents a coordinated effort of federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Louisiana Financial Crimes Task Force. The Task Force includes representatives from the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. State Department, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the New Orleans Police Department, the Covington Police Department, Hammond Police Department, Kenner Police Department, Louisiana State Police, Mandeville Police Department, Slidell Police Department, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. John The Baptist Sheriff’s Office, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution.
* * *