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Press Release

Group of Mobile Mail Thieves and Fraudsters Sentenced in Federal Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Alabama

MOBILE, AL – Five defendants from Mobile were sentenced for their roles in a scheme to commit bank fraud relating to theft of mail and fraudulent deposits of counterfeited and forged checks. 

According to court documents, Jennifer Denise Johnson, 43, Julian Wayne Roberts, 36, Nicholas O’Neal Martin, 24, Maranda Lynn Slate, 34, and Micki Leigh Walker, 38, each pleaded guilty in federal court to engaging in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud between July 2021 and September 2022. The scheme involved Johnson and her coconspirators stealing mail from homes and businesses in the Mobile area, taking checks and other identification documents from the stolen mail, and generating counterfeits and forgeries to be deposited into bank accounts. Between August and October 2021, Johnson, Roberts, Martin, and Slate made numerous fraudulent check deposits and withdrawals at various Regions Bank branches in Theodore and Tillman’s Corner, as depicted on surveillance video. Federal agents also obtained text messages and Facebook messages that the defendants exchanged with one another in furtherance of the scheme.

In September 2022, Mobile police arrested Johnson and Walker after they attempted to cash another forged check that had been stolen from the mail and bore the identifiers of an elderly victim. Inside Johnson’s vehicle, agents found several bags full of stolen mail, identification cards belonging to mail-theft victims, and numerous stolen debit and credit cards belonging to victims. In a recorded interview with investigators, Johnson admitted that she was “addicted” to stealing mail and had been engaged in a mail-theft and fraud conspiracy with her codefendants for more than a year.

Chief United States District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock sentenced Johnson and Roberts each to 36 months’ imprisonment, and Walker to 12 months and one day in prison Martin and Slate received sentences of time served. Upon release from custody, each defendant will serve a five-year term of supervised release, during which time they will receive drug and/or mental health treatment, and will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose fines, but Chief Judge Beaverstock ordered the defendants to pay a total of $600 in special assessments and victim restitution in the following amounts: $2,500 (Johnson and Roberts); $2,000 (Martin); and $500 (Slate).

U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, the Mobile Police Department, and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated April 24, 2024