Inmate Serving A 30-Year Sentence In Florida State Prison Sentenced For Mailing Threatening Letters To Florida Judges
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Darius Cohn (34, Orlando) and Brenda Shoukry (64, Orlando) have pleaded guilty to access device fraud. Shoukry pleaded guilty today, while Cohn pleaded guilty on July 31, 2014. Each faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. The sentencing hearing for Cohn is set for October 30, 2014. Shoukry is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2014.
According to court documents, Cohn, Shoukry, and others engaged in a scheme to defraud several Central Florida area Sam’s Clubs stores and Wal-Mart stores through the fraudulent acquisition of duplicate Sam’s Club credit cards, and the subsequent use of those credit cards. A conspirator manufactured counterfeit identification documents of existing Sam’s Club customers. Conspirators who received those counterfeit identification documents, such as Shoukry, used them to obtain duplicate credit cards on existing accounts. Other conspirators, such as Cohn, obtained duplicate credit cards on the existing accounts, after being fraudulently added as users of those accounts. Cohn, Shoukry, and others then used those credit cards to make fraudulent purchases at area Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart stores. They also turned some of the cards over to another conspirator to do the same. The fraudulently-purchased items were then sold. The proceeds from those sales were divided amongst the conspirators. The total amount of actual loss suffered by the victims of this scheme is over $2 million. Of that amount, Cohn was involved in $127,329 in fraudulent transactions. Shoukry’s involvement included $67,207 in fraudulent transactions.
Two other participants in this scheme have already been sentenced. Sirrico Lewis (42, Orlando) is currently serving 8 years in federal prison and Reginald Holley is serving 2 years and 9 months in federal prison.
Two additional individuals have been charged for their alleged participation in this scheme. Santonio Meyers (45, Orlando) and Trevino Gray (39, Orlando) were charged by criminal complaint with access device fraud. Meyers had his initial appearance in the Southern District of Florida on August 25, 2014. Gray has not yet been arrested. If convicted, each faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
These cases were investigated by the United States Secret Service. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.