Two Chicago Residents Charged with Defrauding Commerce Bank
BOSTON – Two Chicago residents were arrested and charged on May 11, 2016, in connection with defrauding banks out of $1.5 million in an airplane and car loan scheme.
James Dusten Miller, 29, and Latoya Monique James, 35, were charged in a complaint with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. Miller and James were arrested yesterday in Chicago and detained pending a detention hearing tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
According to the criminal complaint, beginning in January 2014 through January 2016, Miller and James, along with at least two other co-conspirators, obtained and attempted to obtain multiple fraudulent airplane and car loans from banks in multiple states, including Massachusetts. In order to commit these frauds, Miller, James, and their co-conspirators allegedly used false and stolen identities. In one instance, Miller, James, and their co-conspirators obtained a fraudulent airplane loan for $382,500 from Commerce Bank in Worcester by using at least one stolen identity. Miller and James laundered the proceeds of the airplane loan through several bank accounts created in the name of a fictitious entity. The proceeds were then allegedly distributed into financial accounts controlled by the defendants and their co-conspirators, and used to purchase items such as luxury cars and a watch. In total, Miller, James and their co-conspirators obtained or attempted to obtain more than $1.5 million in fraudulent loan proceeds.
The charges of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud each provide for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chicago Field Division; Scott L. Cruse, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Oklahoma City Division; and Todd Damiani, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karin M. Bell, Chief of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.
The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.