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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 30, 2014

Week In Review - South Bend


                    South Bend, Indiana — The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:

PLEA

  • Erskine Jones, 22, of South Bend, Indiana pled guilty to the felony offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The magistrate is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea.  Parties have 14 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Sentencing has been set for 8/27/2014.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

DISPOSITION

  • Lorenzo Coben, 25, of South Bend, Indiana was sentenced to 264 months imprisonment to run consecutively to an undischarged prison term imposed on 6/10/2013, and concurrently with the another undischarged prison term imposed on 6/10/2013, 3 years supervised release and to pay $13,131.00 in restitution after pleading guilty to the felony offense of using a firearm during and relation to a crime of violence.  According to documents filed in this case, on or about April 11, 2013, Coben did knowingly use and carry a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, specifically, an armed bank robbery. During the bank robbery, Coben brandished the firearm. This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jesse Barrett.
  • Gigi Riley, 33, of South Bend, Indiana was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment, 3 years supervised release and to pay $2,572,350.52 in restitution after pleading guilty to the felony offense of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to filing of false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims.  According to documents filed in this case, Riley led and participated with others in a false tax return preparation and filing scheme in South Bend, Indiana. She prepared and submitted Forms 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, with false or inflated Forms W-2 to obtain false tax refunds. Within the scheme approximately 1,189 tax returns were submitted for tax years 2008, 2009, and 2010 requesting a total of approximately $3,543,794.00 in tax refunds. Riley owned and maintained a bank account that received approximately $518,343.50 in tax refunds and she owned and maintained another account that received approximately $30,035.00 in tax refunds. She also oversaw and controlled bank accounts opened by others that received tax refunds from the false tax returns. This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.
  • William Cooper, 52, of Mishawaka, Indiana was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment and 2 years supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possessing a firearm as an unlawful drug user.  According to documents filed in this case, on April 22, 2013, Mishawaka police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle pulled into a residence. Cooper was the driver and police found two loaded guns in the console of the car. Indications of a methamphetamine lab were discovered in the basement of the house. Police officers entered the house initially for safety reasons and then proceeded to search on the basis of consent from Cooper. Police found three persons inside the residence who had outstanding warrants for arrest.  Cooper admitted that he had approximately 15-16 long guns in the house in addition to the two handguns in the vehicle. He also admitted to being a regular methamphetamine user. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

 

Updated April 30, 2015