FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – On September 6, 2017, U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis sentenced Brian Diggs, age 45, of Brandywine, Maryland, to ten years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Judge Xinis ordered forfeiture of $393,702. A restitution amount will be determined at a later hearing. The scheme to defraud involved applications for over $1,500,000 in car loans.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Andre Watson of Homeland Security Investigations, Baltimore Field Office; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to his plea agreement, Diggs and eight co-conspirators defrauded numerous federal credit unions by applying for vehicle loans using false personal and financial information. Often Diggs and his co-conspirators identified cars for purchase that they had no intention of obtaining. On certain occasions, Diggs and his co-conspirators applied for and obtained vehicle loans on the same vehicle at different credit unions. Diggs and his co-conspirators nominally agreed to sell vehicles, obtained money from vehicle sales, and then did not provide the vehicles to buyers. Diggs and his co-conspirators failed to make payments toward vehicle loans, thereby often resulting in the vehicles being repossessed by credit unions and other lending institutions. In at least one instance, Diggs and co-conspirator Derrick Byas, Jr., used the name of a living victim on a fake driver’s license to obtain a loan from a credit union.
The fraud scheme affected more than ten financial institutions and employed sophisticated means, including fake documents, fake addresses, and false Social Security numbers. Diggs was the leader and organizer of the scheme.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning thanked HSI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work on the investigation. Mr. Schenning commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Baldwin, Erin Pulice, and Thomas Windom who are prosecuting the case.