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Press Release

Thirteen Alleged Members of the “Felony Lane Gang” Indicted in $1 Million Bank Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland
Defendants Allegedly Traveled From Florida to Maryland to Commit the Fraud

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal indictment charging 13 Florida residents with a bank fraud conspiracy involving over $1 million in losses was unsealed today.  According to statements made at previous court proceedings, the defendants are alleged to be members of a nationwide group of fraudsters known as the “Felony Lane Gang.” The indictment alleges that the defendants traveled from Florida to Maryland and other states, broke into vehicles parked at recreation areas, sports fields, gyms, fitness centers, and other locations, and stole wallets, purses and other items left in the vehicles. The defendants then allegedly used the victims’ stolen checks, credit cards and identifications to conduct fraudulent financial transactions.  The indictment was returned on October 27, 2015, and charges the following defendants:

            Theodore L. Pittman, a/k/a Teddy, Tony, and Bear, age 32, of Lauderhill, Florida;
            Courtney B. Walker, a/k/a Wayne Leo Walker, age 28, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida;
            James J. Blakey, a/k/a Jamal, age 29, of Ft. Lauderdale;
            Vincent Lee Sands, a/k/a Young SP, and Chad, age 26, of Lauderhill;
            Heather Brooke Roberts, age 45, of Perry, Ohio;
            Michael J. Walker, age 44, of Pompano Beach, Florida, and Perry, Ohio;
            Tara Kathleen Whyte, age 29, of Hollywood, Florida, and Gambrills, Maryland;
            Tracy Lee Whyte, a/k/a Nikki, age 34, also of Hollywood, and Gambrills;
            Shannon Elise Isley, age 29, of Sunrise, Florida;
            Lauren Anne Bole, age 28, of Miramar, Florida;
            Felicia Kaye Waybright, a/k/a Felicia Kaye Phillips, age 25, of Daytona Beach, Florida;
            Ronald Jason Rhoda, a/k/a Jason Rhoda, age 43, of Hollywood, Florida; and 
           Amie Nicole Carter, age 32, of Casselberry, Florida.

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; Chief Antonio DeVaul of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division; Acting Chief Stanley Johnson of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Prince George’s County Division; Chief Gary Gardner of the Howard County Police Department; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare.

According to the 27-count indictment, from September 2012 through July 2015, the defendants and their co-conspirators used the checks, credit cards, identifications and other items they stole from breaking into unattended vehicles to pose as the victims or to access the financial accounts of the victims. The defendants recruited prostitutes, drug addicts and other vulnerable individuals to travel with them to conduct financial transactions using the stolen checks, driver’s licenses and other materials, and paid them with drugs, food, and small amounts of cash amounting to a fraction of the total value of the checks they cashed.

The indictment alleges that checks drawn on one victim’s account were made payable to a second victim and cashed by a member of the conspiracy at a financial institution where the second victim had an open account, allowing the conspirators to freely cash checks for large amounts of money.  The transactions were generally conducted at a drive through teller lane, often the furthest lane from the window, and the conspirator posing as the victim sat in the passenger seat, all to obscure the bank teller’s view of the individual posing as the victim.  The conspirators often wore wigs and glasses to more closely resemble the victims whose stolen driver’s licenses they used to conduct the transactions.

According to the indictment, the conspirators traveled throughout Maryland and other states conducting these thefts and financial transactions in one location for several days or weeks until the banks or law enforcement began thwarting their activities.  Then they returned to Florida or moved on to another location, burying or hiding for future use the checks, credit cards, identification cards and other items they had stolen from vehicles, but had not yet used.  A few weeks or months later, after scrutiny of their activities had faded, the defendants would return to Maryland, retrieve the hidden items and use them to continue their financial fraud scheme.

The indictment alleges that over the course of the scheme the defendants fraudulently obtained and attempted to obtain over $1 million from more than a dozen financial institutions using the identification of hundreds of individual victims.

Each of the defendants faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud conspiracy, and a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft.  All the defendants except Blakey and Sands also face a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud. Lauren Boyle and Shannon Isley are still being sought by law enforcement, but the remaining defendants are expected to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in the next several weeks.

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

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Secret Service, Maryland National Capital Park Police - Montgomery and Prince George’s County Divisions, and the Howard County, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County Police Departments for their work in the Maryland portion of this multi-state, multi-agency investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine and Ayn B. Ducao, who are prosecuting the case.

Updated February 4, 2016

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft