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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Eleven Defendants Named In Seventy-One Count Indictment Charging Conspiracy To Commit Theft Of Public Money And Identity Theft

OAKLAND – Nine California residents and two Texas residents were charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, theft of public money, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew Toth. 

The indictment, unsealed yesterday, charges the following eleven defendants with participating in the conspiracy: 

  • Hugh Robinson, of Richmond
  • Gary Bostick, of Pittsburg
  • Ana Bostick, of Pittsburg
  • Ronald Blake, of Fort Worth, TX
  • Kyadrian Dennis, of Fort Worth, TX
  • William Odom, of Berkeley
  • Jamia Lewis, of Fairfield
  • Devonnie Davison, of San Pablo
  • Brandon Robinson, of El Cerrito
  • Janel McDonald, of Los Angeles
  • Everardo Laurian, of Daly City

According to the indictment, from at least August 21, 2013, through April 27, 2015, the defendants conspired with one another to commit offenses against the United States, including theft of government money.  The scheme involved obtaining the names of deceased individuals, filing false tax returns in the names of the individuals, obtaining false identifications, and illegally cashing U.S. Treasury checks.

According to the indictment, Hugh Robinson, Gary Bostick, and Ronald Blake, with the assistance of others, are alleged to have obtained names of deceased individuals for use in filing false tax returns.  To obtain identities for use in the scheme, these defendants searched California death records and obtained the names and personal identifying information of deceased individuals.  The defendants then used the identities obtained from the death records to electronically file false federal income tax returns and caused the returns to be filed in the name of the deceased with the IRS.  The returns falsely represented that the individuals earned wages or other income and that the individuals listed on the tax returns were entitled to tax refunds.  Hugh Robinson, Gary Bostick, Ronald Blake, and other individuals working with them also listed on the tax returns certain physical addresses to which the defendants had access, enabling the defendants to retrieve the refund checks.

Also described in the indictment is the process by which the defendants are alleged to have cashed the fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks.  According to the indictment, Janel McDonald provided false and fraudulent California identification documents to co-conspirators who used them to negotiate the U.S. Treasury checks.  The false identifications contained the pictures of designated co-conspirators who would cash the check.  In addition, Hugh Robinson, Brandon Robinson, and Devonnie Davison brought some of the checks to a Walmart store in Richmond, California, where Jamia Lewis and William Odom assisted in cashing the checks.  According to the indictment, Lewis and Odom were Walmart employees who knew the checks belonged to others and the U.S. Treasury.  Further, Hugh Robinson and his co-conspirators obtained false identification documents that matched other names on the U.S. Treasury checks and negotiated those illegally-obtained checks at various other Walmart stores.  According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, a search of the location where Hugh Robinson resided yielded $237,394 worth of uncashed U.S. Treasury checks.

The indictment charges each defendant with conspiracy to commit theft of public money.  In addition, the defendants have been charged with the following federal offenses:

Hugh Robinson

7 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

7 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Gary Bostick

4 counts of Wire Fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343

4 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Ana Bostick

2 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

2 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Ronald Blake

3 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

3 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Kyadrian Dennis

4 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

4 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

William Odom

3 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

3 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Jamia Lewis

3 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

3 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Devonnie Davison

2 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

2 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Brandon Robinson

3 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

3 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Janel McDonald

2 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

2 counts Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Everardo Laurian

2 counts of Theft of Public Money, 18 U.S.C. § 641

2 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft,  18 U.S.C. § 1028A

Hugh Robinson has been in custody since his arrest in April 2015.  Jamia Lewis, William Odom, Ronald Blake, Brandon Robinson, and Everardo Laurian are scheduled to appear on December 15, 2015, before United States District Judge Jeffrey S. White.  Janel McDonald is scheduled to appear on December 16, 2015, before United States Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu.  Hugh Robinson, Gary Bostick, Ana Bostick, and Devonnie Davison are scheduled to appear on January 12, 2016, before Judge White.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.   The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, is 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 641, is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1343, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  The maximum penalty for each count of identity fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1028A, is two years in prison, consecutive to the underlying felony and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Jose A. Olivera are prosecuting this case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. 

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Tax
Updated April 19, 2017