Bankcard Fraud Defendants Sentenced to Federal Prison
ATLANTA - Stefon D. Clark, Ayanna Johnson, and Quantaves Curry, have been sentenced to three years, five months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with their scheme to deposit fraudulent checks at USAA, the Navy Federal Credit Union, and BB&T.
“These defendants appealed to their victims with promises of ‘fast cash,’” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “The ease with which they were able to prey on unsuspecting citizens reinforces that bank customers should always carefully guard their bank account information.”
“Bank fraud is not a victimless crime and this case clearly illustrates that those engaging in this type of criminal act will pay a high price for those actions. The FBI will continue to dedicate significant investigative resources toward the protection of the banking industry and those customers in which it serves from those who would prey on them and defraud them,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: the defendants participated in a bank fraud scheme that lasted at least 17 months, compromised more than 240 bank accounts, and resulted in more than $600,000 in losses to three financial institutions. The scheme generally worked as follows: the defendants would post advertisements on social media sites, such as Instagram, seeking individuals who had bank accounts with certain financial institutions and were looking to make “fast cash.”
Upon learning of an interested party, the defendants would obtain the individual’s bank account information—including account number, PIN number, online banking information, and debit card. The defendants then deposited checks that had been stolen or were for closed bank accounts into the compromised bank account, and would withdraw the funds as cash before the financial institution realized that the checks were not valid. In total, the defendants deposited more than one million dollars in invalid checks into the compromised bank accounts and withdrew over $600,000 in cash.
All of the defendants pleaded guilty, with Johnson and Curry pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and Clark pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and seven substantive bank fraud counts. Curry pleaded guilty on July 6, 2015, Johnson pleaded guilty on August 26, 2015, and Clark pleaded guilty on January 20, 2016.
Stefon D. Clark, 27, Ayanna Johnson, 23, and Quantaves Curry, 27, all of Atlanta, Georgia, were sentenced to three years, five months in prison to be followed by supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $613,476.25. Curry and Johnson were sentenced on November 16, 2015 and Clark was sentenced on June 22, 2016.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Huber and former Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Mickelson prosecuted the case.
This 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. 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 www.StopFraud.gov.”
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.