Two Who Targeted U.S. Marines Sentenced for Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, John Stuart Bruce, announced that today, Senior District Court Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced JONES TYLER MARTIN, of Hampton, South Carolina, and HAILEY TYKOSKI, of Wayne, Michigan, for their convictions in a fraudulent scheme that seriously impacted the United States Marine Corps and numerous victim Marines from North Carolina to California. MARTIN was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment, 5 years supervised release, and was ordered to pay $117,306.42 in restitution, and TYKOSKI was sentenced to 5 years probation and was ordered to pay $42,289.05 in restitution.
In September 2016, a federal grand jury in Wilmington, North Carolina, returned a five-count indictment charging MARTIN and TYKOSKI with conspiring to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting. On January 30, 2017, MARTIN pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. On March 27, 2017 TYKOSKI pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
John Stuart Bruce, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, stated: “The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this district treat cases such as this one with high priority. There will continue to be vigorous prosecution of those who commit fraud and cybercrimes targeting members of the armed services and veterans.”
H. Andrew Goodridge, Special Agent in Charge, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, stated: “This case reminds all of us to remain vigilant about what information we provide to strangers, it also demonstrates that NCIS is committed to pursuing those who exploit US service members."
The investigation revealed that between 2013 and 2015, MARTIN, working with accomplices including TYKOSKI, created fake female identities on internet dating websites for the purpose of targeting and luring young enlisted Marines into virtual relationships. In the course of the fraud scheme, the defendants sent text messages and emails to Marines who were deceived into believing they were in online romantic relationships. The conspirators induced the victims to take out personal loans from Navy Federal Credit Union. Using the victims’ personal identification, MARTIN then initiated wire transfers of the loan proceeds into other accounts. MARTIN also withdrew funds using new lines of credit and accounts in the victims’ names, leaving the victim Marines to pay off the debts.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Field Office Carolinas, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Special Assistant United States Attorney Mark Griffith prosecuted the case for the government.