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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Former Jefferson County Resident Indicted on Identity Theft and Student Loan Fraud Charges

St. Louis, MO – On October 12, 2016, a federal grand jury returned a ten-count indictment charging Malachi Duncan, a/k/a "Demarcus Brewster" with multiple fraud charges for orchestrating a scheme to commit student loan fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, social security fraud and identity theft. Duncan had his first appearance in federal court today.

On March 1, 2017, Duncan, a former resident of Hillsboro, Missouri, was arrested by the United States Marshals Service in Memphis, Tennessee. At the time of his arrest, the defendant was living in Memphis and had enrolled at the University of Memphis under an assumed name.

According to the indictment, Duncan fraudulently used the pedigree information of co-conspirator "Demarcus Brewster" to enroll and gain admission as a full-time student during the 2013-2014 school year at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO. As part of the scheme, Duncan fraudulently used Brewster’s identity to obtain federal financial aid, student housing and on-campus employment.

Duncan is charged with: one felony count of conspiracy, two felony counts of identity theft, two felony counts of aggravated identity theft, one felony count of fraudulent production of an identification document, three felony counts of social security fraud and one felony count of bank fraud.

If convicted, Duncan faces penalties of up to 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

In June 2016, co-conspirator Demarcus Brewster entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit student loan fraud. On September 27, 2016, United States District Judge John A. Ross sentenced Brewster to a seven-month term of imprisonment and ordered that Brewster pay restitution to the United States Department of Education.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Department of Education, the Office of the Inspector General/Social Security Administration, the United States Marshals Service, the Hillsboro Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and the Jefferson College Campus Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Roy is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated March 22, 2017