Former Vice President of National Construction Company Pleads Guilty to Stealing Over $4.5 Million from Employer
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury indicted five residents of Maryland on charges arising from a bank fraud scheme:
Monika Michelle Hill, age 36, of Cockeysville,
Mark Darnelle Peeples, age 31, of Baltimore,
Dorian Maurice Griffin, age 20, of Baltimore,
Alysia Samon Rascoe, a/k/a “Alysia Simone Roscoe”, age 26, of Baltimore, and
Christopher Vance McKoy, age 24, of Baltimore.
The indictment was returned on November 12, 2015 and unsealed upon the arrests of three defendants: Hill, who has been detained; Rascoe, who has been released; and McKoy, who is released and scheduled for arraignment on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 10:45 a.m. Peeples and Griffin remain at large.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Brian Murphy of the United States Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to the 18 count indictment, from March 2013 to July 2014, members of the conspiracy would acquire account information and either alter checks to change the payee, or use the information from the check to create counterfeit checks to a new payee. The defendants negotiated fraudulent, stolen, altered and counterfeit checks at branch offices of financial institutions.
The indictment alleges that the defendants created and registered businesses using the identities of others, and opened bank accounts at a bank using the names of these businesses which did not exist other than on paper. The defendants used the identities of identity theft victims or their own identities as the account signatories. They deposited fraudulent, stolen, altered and counterfeit checks into these bank accounts, and then withdrew funds from the accounts by writing checks in their own names.
The indictment alleges that during the course of the scheme, the defendants fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain over $230,000 from the financial institutions and individual victims, and that they actually received more than $170,000.
Finally, the indictment alleges that from September 24, 2013 to July 2014, Hill was on pretrial release in federal court in Baltimore in case no. 13-0248 ELH, when she conspired to commit bank fraud, and committed bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, as described above.
All of the defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for conspiring to commit bank fraud and for bank fraud and a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft. Hill also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for committing these offenses while on pre-trial release.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
The Maryland Identity Theft Working Group has been working since 2006 to foster cooperation among local, state, federal, and institutional fraud investigators and to promote effective prosecution of identity theft schemes by both state and federal prosecutors. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Working Group, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to work with financial institutions and businesses to address identity fraud, identify those who compromise personal identity information, and protect citizens from identity theft.
Today’s announcement is part of the efforts undertaken in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Secret Service and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the case.