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Press Release

Texas Man Sentenced For His Role In A Bank Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced David Chambers Opembe (25, Texas) to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The Court also ordered him to forfeit $252,107.07, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense.


Chambers pleaded guilty on November 14, 2016.


According to court documents, in December 2014, Opembe’s sister, Ebony Chambers Stillwell, began working as the onsite manager for St. Giles Manor, an apartment complex located in Pinellas Park. St. Giles Manor, which was managed by SPM Property Management, was being refurbished. As part of her duties, Stillwell received and processed invoices from vendors and contractors for payment.


During the refurbishment, SPM and St. Giles Manor contracted with Erickson’s Drying Systems, a cleaning and restoration company based in Ft. Myers. Pursuant to this work, Erickson’s submitted invoices for payment to St. Giles Manor and Stillwell that were paid by checks from an SPM LLC bank account.


On January 22, 2015, Opembe registered a shell company called Erickson’s Drying Systems with the Harris County Clerk in Texas. On the same date, he opened a bank account at Regions Bank in the name of Erickson’s Drying Systems, listing himself as the sole signatory on the account and his home address in Texas. No one at the actual Erickson’s in Ft. Myers was aware of or approved the establishment of the Texas corporation or business bank account.


Between January 22, 2015, and October 23, 2015, Stillwell caused to be issued approximately 21 checks from the SPM disbursing account to the “fake” Erickson’s Drying Systems. She facilitated the automated issuance of these checks by submitting fabricated invoices that she altered using prior legitimate invoices from Erickson’s. Stillwell directed that all of these checks be delivered to her office, rather than mailed to Erickson’s in Ft. Myers. She then deposited those checks into the “fake” Erickson’s bank account opened by her brother at Regions Bank. Once the funds were deposited into the Erickson’s account at Regions Bank, Opembe withdrew cash and transferred funds to his personal checking account. The Erickson’s account at Regions was also used by Opembe and Stillwell to make their car payments and for other personal expenses. In total, approximately $262,067 in fraudulently obtained checks were deposited into the “fake” Erickson’s Regions Bank account by Opembe and Stillwell.


Ebony Chambers Stillwell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud On October 25, 2016. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 20, 2017.


This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department and the Pinellas Park Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mandy Riedel.

Updated March 3, 2017

Financial Fraud