5 Charged in Stolen Check Scheme
CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged five Cincinnati individuals with conspiring to commit bank fraud and with aggravated identity theft in an indictment unsealed here yesterday.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Pittsburgh Division, Yvonne DiCristoforo, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neal, West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog, Green Township Police Chief James Vetter, Greensburg, Ind. Interim Police Chief Brendan Bridges, Norwood Police Chief William Kramer and Madeira Police Chief Dave Schaefer announced the charges.
According to the indictment, from February 2017 until April 2018, co-conspirators allegedly stole checks from mailboxes at residences and businesses. Defendants would then cash the stolen checks by pretending to be the lawful payees.
It is alleged that the group also fraudulently re-printed the original checks by inserting the names of new payees on the checks. Co-conspirators would recruit “cashers” who allowed the group to insert the casher’s name on the check in exchange for a portion of the proceeds.
Those charged include, Stephano Henderson (aka Face), 31; Laneal Henderson (aka Phatty Boi), 32; Eugene Clifford, 30; Markalo Harris, 25 and Ebony Lattimore, 30, all of Cincinnati.
The five defendants are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Each of the defendants is also charged with at least one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition, Stephano Henderson is also charged with one count of bank fraud.
Aggravated identity theft is punishable by up to two years in prison for each count in addition to time served for other offenses.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by law enforcement, and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew C. Singer, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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