Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander sentenced Brenda Moody, age 47, and her daughter, Cierra Jackson, age 28, both formerly of Baltimore, today to 27 months and 18 months in prison, respectively, each followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Hollander also entered an order that Moody pay $347,700 in restitution and Jackson pay $140,600 in restitution.
The sentences were 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; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County Sheriff Jay Fisher.
According to their plea agreements and court documents, Moody moved from Baltimore to the Miami area around 2007 or early 2008. Starting in at least May 2008, Moody obtained hundred dollar counterfeit bills from the leader of the scheme in Miami and distributed the counterfeit bills in Maryland. Moody recruited others, including her daughter, to pass counterfeit bills in Maryland. The conspirators converted the counterfeit currency to genuine currency by going to stores, buying $10 to $20 of products with a counterfeit $100 bill and receiving $80 to $90 in change. The conspirators would give $40 to $60 back to Moody for each counterfeit $100 bill they passed.
From May 2008 to late 2011, Moody passed and recruited others to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit bills, resulting in a loss of $347,700. From June 2008 to July 2010, Jackson passed counterfeit bills, resulting in a loss of $140,600.
The leader of the scheme, Alexis Palmer, who ran this conspiracy out of Miami, was sentenced in the Southern District of Florida federal court on January 9, 2014 to 10 years in prison. His four co-defendants, including two top lieutenants, were sentenced to between 51 and two months in prison.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 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. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service, Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for their assistance in the investigation and Assistant United States Attorney Justin S. Herring, who prosecuted the case.