O'Fallon Missouri Man Sentenced to Fourteen Years in Prison for Running Large Stolen Property Fraud Ring and Bank Fraud
Donald S. Boyce, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that yesterday, in federal court in Benton, Illinois, Jason J. Parmeley, 43, formerly of O’Fallon, MO, was sentenced to fourteen years in federal prison for crimes arising from a large stolen property fraud ring and a separate bank fraud. The stolen property ring operated in the Metro East and numerous other locations.
At his plea hearing on December 6, 2016, Parmeley admitted that he was the leader and organizer of a stolen property ring that victimized numerous retailers and equipment rental stores throughout the United States. Specifically, Parmeley admitted that he used the internet to obtain credit account numbers that individuals and businesses had with retail stores, such as Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, and rental stores, such as SunBelt Rentals. Using this information, Parmeley placed orders with the stores in the names, and under the credit accounts, of the individuals and businesses. The items Parmeley ordered frequently consisted of appliances, computers, expensive tools, and construction equipment. Parmeley further admitted that, after he placed the orders, he dispatched drivers to go to the stores and pick up the items. The items were then sold at prices
substantially below retail. The profits were wire transferred to Parmeley in Mexico. The losses caused by this stolen property ring exceeded $4,000,000.
Parmeley lived in Mexico and controlled the fraud ring from that country. In late August of 2015, Mexican Immigration Authorities deported Parmeley from Mexico. Parmeley has been held in federal custody since that time.
Parmeley also pled guilty to a second federal criminal indictment on December 6, 2016. The charges in that case were brought by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama. In that case, Parmeley was charged with defrauding Regions Bank by electronically re-depositing checks that he had previously deposited, and then withdrawing funds from those re-deposited checks. Parmeley engaged in this fraudulent scheme from November 20, 2009, through September 20, 2010. As a result of this fraud, Regions Bank sustained a loss of $174,451.80. Although the charges in the second indictment originated in Alabama, Parmeley’s guilty plea was made to the Court here in the Southern District of Illinois.
At the sentencing hearing yesterday, United States District Judge Staci M. Yandle sentenced Parmeley to serve 140 months in prison on the convictions arising from the stolen property ring. Judge Yandle then ordered that Parmeley will serve a consecutive sentence of 28 months on his bank fraud conviction. The judge also ordered Parmeley to pay restitution of $456,882.37 to the victims of the stolen property ring for the specific losses that could be identified. She further directed Parmeley to pay $174,451.80 in restitution to Regions Bank.
To date, six defendants have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the stolen property conspiracy. On June 7, 2016, James D. Litchfield, 59, owner of Big Jim’s Autorama in Madison, IL, was sentenced to 3 years in prison, and his brother, Ryan P. Litchfield, 37, of O’Fallon, MO, was sentenced to 1 year in prison. Both of the brothers admitted to receiving large quantities of
the stolen property. On October 4, 2016, Shannan M. Flora, 42, of O’Fallon, MO, and Rigoberto Gutierrez, 28, of Compton, CA, were both sentenced to 15 months in prison. Flora performed a wide variety of tasks for the conspiracy, including arranging sales of stolen goods. Gutierrez coordinated shipments of stolen goods in California. On October 12, 2016, Russell J. Witt, 34, of Mount Clemens, MI, was sentenced to 12 months in prison. Witt worked as a driver for the conspiracy for over a year. On December 13, 2016, Sean A. Shields, 48, of Ozark, MO, was also sentenced to 12 months in prison. Shields owned a store in Ozark, MO, and purchased large quantities of the stolen merchandise.
Six other defendants in the stolen property case were sentenced to terms of probation. They are: Nicholas A. Brockman, 20, of Wentzville, MO; Benedict G. Pellerito, 56, of Troy, MO; Bryce E. Atkinson, 22, of Lake Saint Louis, MO; Alice J. Hembree, 44, of Moscow Mills, MO; Tony G. Robertson, 45, of O’Fallon, MO; and Jessie S. Urias, 38, of Compton, CA. Brockman, Pellerito, Atkinson, Robertson, and Urias all worked as drivers for the conspiracy. Hembree performed administrative and bookkeeping functions for the fraud ring.
The two remaining defendants will be sentenced on the following dates: (1) June 6, 2017 – Steven J. Belcher, 45, of St. Charles, MO; and (2) June 22, 2017 – Angel Speed, 26.
The investigation of the stolen property ring is being conducted by agents from the St. Louis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). The FBI has received substantial assistance from many state and local police departments in numerous jurisdictions, including the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force and the California Highway Patrol. The investigation of the bank fraud scheme involving Regions Bank was conducted by the FBI in Alabama. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.