California Real Estate Developer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Using Stolen Identities to Obtain Covid-Relief Program Funds
PORTLAND, Ore.—A Fort Lauderdale, Florida man was sentenced to federal prison today for his role in a bank fraud and identity theft scheme targeting female victims in the Portland Metropolitan Area.
Damian Fletcher, 27, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.
According to court documents, Fletcher is a member of the Felony Lane Gang, an interstate criminal organization based in Florida that travels to locations throughout the U.S. to commit vehicle break-in and fraud sprees. The organization targets female victims who leave their purses, wallets, and valuables in parked cars. After victims exit their vehicles—often to drop off children, run errands, or visit a gym—Felony Lane Gang members break into the vehicle to steal targeted items. After the theft, conspirators quickly deploy associates to conduct fraudulent bank or merchant transactions using stolen identification, checks, and credit or debit cards.
In the fall of 2019, Fletcher and five co-conspirators traveled to Portland to target local victims. Once Fletcher and his partners stole items from a vehicle, they checked to see if one of several female co-conspirators resembled the victim. If one of their female co-conspirators could impersonate the victim, they would attempt to cash fraudulent checks written in the impersonated victim’s name. The conspirators would cash checks at various local banks, using the outer-most lane of each bank’s drive-up teller window to avoid detection.
Investigators identified 32 vehicle thefts and 22 instances of bank fraud committed during Fletcher’s most recent known Oregon crime spree. In total, this spree resulted in a financial loss of more than $98,000. Fletcher was arrested on March 9, 2020 in Florida.
On June 6, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 14-count superseding indictment charging Fletcher and five co-defendants with conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
On January 7, 2021, Fletcher pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman ordered Fletcher to pay $98,733 in restitution.
Co-defendants Delvin Mills, 29, of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida; Megan Spurlock, 27, a Washington State resident; and Linda Marie Lupo, 52, of Deerfield, Florida; have all pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Co-defendants Justin Curry, 28 of Fort Lauderdale, and Treveon Donte Jordan, 23, of Lauderdale Lakes, are on pre-trial release pending a four-day jury trial scheduled to being on June 15, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the West Linn Police Department, Tualatin Police Department, and Clark County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Seth D. Uram and Quinn P. Harrington, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.