Rockford Men Plead Guilty To Fraud Scheme
ROCKFORD — A Rockford, Ill. man pleaded guilty today in federal court before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to one count of wire fraud. CAMERON LOVE, 27, who was charged in a superseding indictment along with three other men, admitted that between mid-2010 and January 2012 he defrauded large retail chain stores by fraudulently acquiring tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise and returning the items for cash.
In the written plea agreement, Hardy admitted that as part of the scheme he and his co-defendants created and used counterfeit checks and counterfeit identifications to purchase merchandise from large chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Farm and Fleet located in various states. After he and the others purchased merchandise from those stores, they returned the merchandise to a different store location for a cash refund. Hardy admitted he knew at the time that some of the names and addresses on the checks and identification he used, and some of the bank account information, were fictitious and some were real.
In a related case, ANTHONY HARDY, 42, also of Rockford, pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2013, to one count of wire fraud and one count of identity theft. In addition to Hardy admitting he participated in a wire fraud scheme with Love and others, Hardy admitted he unlawfully possessed the identification of another person used to purchase merchandise from the stores in the wire fraud scheme.
Love is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, 2013, while Hardy is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2013. Two other men are also each charged with three counts of wire fraud in the superseding indictment for their roles in the scheme: WILLIAM DORN, 24, also of Rockford, and ANTHONY TAYLOR, 43, of Marietta, Ga.
Each charge of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a term of up to 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and mandatory restitution. The Court may also impose a fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendants, whichever is greater. For Hardy, the charge of identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of 2 years imprisonment, which must run consecutive to any sentence on the wire fraud charge, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence will be determined by the United States District Court, guided by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The guilty pleas were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Thomas P. Brady, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. The Rockford Police Department assisted in the investigation.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.