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Press Release

Cleveland Woman Sentenced To Nearly Four Year In Prison For Financial Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A Cleveland woman was sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to pay $78,004 in restitution for financial crimes, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Jocelyn Hale, 32, was sentenced to 45 months of incarceration after pleading guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering, four counts of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

Hale’s co-defendant, Angelique Bankston, 42, of South Euclid, was convicted by a jury on November 21, 2013 after almost a three week trial of all 23 counts against her, including the counts listed above and one count of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud, four additional counts of mail fraud, four additional counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of money laundering, and one count of making a false statement.

In her plea agreement, Hale admitted to using identities of several individuals without their authority, and assisting Bankston to defraud Citizens Bank, Lending Club Corporation, and
Wells Fargo Bank.  Bankston and Hale funded one Wells Fargo Bank account with fraudulent checks totaling $13,027.22, and then attempted to quickly remove and launder the fraudulent proceeds.  

Bankston and Hale also funded a second Wells Fargo Bank account with a fraudulent tax return check in the amount of $6,172, and a Citizens Bank account with illegally obtained funds from a fraudulently obtained Lending Club loan in the amount of $30,000.  Once the illegal obtain funds were deposited, Bankston and Hale again quickly attempted to remove and launder those funds.  Finally, Hale admitted to assisting Bankston to defraud the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services by filing false and fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits using a fictitious company and fictitious employees based on stolen identities.

Bankston’s sentencing is currently scheduled for April 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the United States Federal Courthouse in Akron, Ohio.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Bennett and Special Assistant United States Attorney Perry D. Mastrocola, following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Postal Inspection Service offices in Cleveland.

Updated March 12, 2015