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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Former Reality Television Series “Bad Girl” Charged With Fraud And Identity Theft For Stealing And Using Debit Card Information

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the arrest of SHANNADE CLERMONT on charges of wire fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  The Complaint charges that CLERMONT stole and fraudulently used the debit card information of a man she had visited for a prostitution date and who was found dead in his apartment the next morning from a drug overdose.  CLERMONT will be presented today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Sarah Netburn.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Shannade Clermont, a former cast member of the ‘Bad Girls Club,’ lived up to her reality series reputation.  She allegedly stole debit card information from a man found dead – the victim of a drug overdose – in his Manhattan apartment and used his identity to make tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases.  Thanks to the skilled investigative work of the NYPD, Clermont’s new reality is federal prosecution for her alleged nefarious conduct.”      

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint[1] unsealed today:

The NYPD and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York have been investigating the overdose death of a male individual (the “Victim”), who was found dead on the morning of February 1, 2017, in his apartment at 250 East 53rd Street in Manhattan, New York (the “Victim Apartment”).  During the course of that investigation, law enforcement learned that CLERMONT visited the Victim for a prostitution date at the Victim Apartment the previous evening (January 31, 2017), and used the Victim’s debit card information to make or attempt to make more than $20,000 in fraudulent purchases during the months following the Victim’s death.  Specifically, CLERMONT stole the information for two debit cards of the Victim found in his wallet in the Victim Apartment, and used that stolen debit card information for, among things, payments of her rent and phone bills, flight purchases, and several online purchases of thousands of dollars of clothing and other merchandise.

CLERMONT also created and used a fake email account in the Victim’s name to falsely represent to third parties that she was the Victim, in order to commit wire fraud using the Victim’s identity.  Specifically, on or about April 3, 2017, approximately two months after the Victim’s death, the fake email account was used to register an account with Western Union in the name of the Victim and to initiate a fraudulent money transfer of $1,000 from the Victim to CLERMONT. 

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CLERMONT, 24, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of access device fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive minimum sentence of two years.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Sagar K. Ravi is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
18-231
Updated July 11, 2018