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Press Release

New Jersey woman indicted in email compromise scheme

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

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – A Jersey City, New Jersey, woman has been indicted on charges involving wire fraud related to a real estate transaction of more than $330,000.

Michelle Graham, 27, was indicted on two counts involving a wire fraud conspiracy. According to court documents, Graham was involved in a scheme that caused a Hampshire County law firm to send proceeds from a real estate sale to a business account she had opened in New Jersey.  The parties to the real estate transaction intended the proceeds to be sent to pay off the seller’s lender, not to Graham, who was not part of the transaction.  Graham then spent nearly $30,000 of the money before the fraud was detected.  Items purchased included a Louis Vuitton handbag, a laptop, furniture, and a purchase at a used luxury car dealership.

If convicted, Graham faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the two wire fraud charges. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. The Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office assisted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated July 12, 2023

Financial Fraud