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Press Release

Two Cleveland Woman Accused of Using Counterfeit Checks to Get Prepaid Cards at Target Stores

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

A federal grand jury today returned an indictment in U.S. District Court charging Stephanie Laverne Washington, 46, and Carolyn Badley-Pinson, 56, both of Cleveland, with bank fraud, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The women are accused of using counterfeit checks to obtain prepaid debit or credit cards at 26 Target stores in Ohio, including stores in Willoughby, Mayfield Heights, Akron and North Olmsted between 2010 and 2013. Several financial institutions were defrauded a total of approximately $164,083 as a result of the scheme, according to the indictment.

The United States Secret Service and the Ontario (Ohio) Police Department conducted the investigation.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Justin Seabury Gould.        

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 17, 2015