Kentucky Man Charged with Attempting to Fraudulently Obtain $1 Million from Victims' Fund
CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged Matthew Ashcraft, also known as Andrew McCormick, 32, of Covington, Ky., with wire fraud and aggravated identity in an indictment returned here yesterday. Ashcraft, who was arrested today by FBI agents, allegedly devised a scheme in attempt to defraud a victims’ fund in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the charges.
In 2003, a lawsuit was settled in the case of John Doe, et. al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. As part of the settlement, a $90 million fund was created for victims of abuse. A minor’s fund of $4.5 million was created for those victims who were minors during the claim period. Submissions to the fund were available until 2015.
According to the indictment, in 2006, Ashcraft filed a claim seeking compensation for alleged abuse involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, et. al. The claim was approved for an award to Ashcraft in 2007 in the amount of $750,000.
In 2014, Ashcraft allegedly obtained the birth certificate of another individual, created an email address in that person’s name, and submitted a fraudulent claim for compensation in the Catholic Diocese of Covington lawsuit. Using the victim’s name, date of birth and social security number, Ashcraft caused the submission of a compensation request for approximately $1 million.
Ashcraft is charged with one count of wire fraud, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a potential additional two years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, and Assistant United States Attorney Christy L. Muncy, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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