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Press Release

Houston Man Sentenced in Million Dollar Fraud Scheme Targeting Dozens of Elderly Victims

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

HOUSTON – Jermaine Comeaux, 35, has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Comeaux, of Houston, pleaded guilty March 16, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ordered Comeaux to serve 240 months in federal prison for the conspiracy as well as a consecutive 24 months for the aggravated identity theft. The total 264-month-sentence will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution.

Between Jan. 1, 2013, and Nov. 30, 2013, Comeaux engaged in a wire fraud conspiracy to unlawfully obtain cash and defraud Compass Bank, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - insured institution. Comeaux and others unlawfully obtained, shared and busted out multiple credit cards for cash and shared the proceeds with each other.

Comeaux owned and operated Swagg Clothing and Comeaux Graphixx and Print’n, two businesses used in the conspiracy. He applied for and obtained PayPal and Square accounts for these businesses in order to run fraudulent cards. Comeaux would swipe, and authorize his co-conspirators to swipe, fraudulently obtained credit cards through his business terminal using credit card processors PayPal had provided. Comeaux would also swipe fraudulently obtained cards through businesses under the control of his co-conspirators, including Majix Studio and Pop Goffney. After the cards were used, the funds were deposited into bank accounts or onto debit cards under the care, custody and control of Comeaux and his co-conspirators.

Comeaux admitted to processing multiple illegitimate transactions through his business during the course of the conspiracy.

Comeaux knew the credit cards were fraudulent because they had been applied for and obtained through the use of stolen identities. There were at least 70 victims whose identities had been stolen, all senior citizens between the ages of 70 and 95, living throughout the country. 

Comeaux also knew the transactions going through his processors were illegitimate as there was no exchange of goods for services. Typically, the conspirators ran the fraudulently obtained credit cards for $1,000 to $5,000 until they reached their limits. When necessary, Comeaux and his co-conspirators would fabricate and submit false information, receipts, invoices and other documentation to PayPal regarding the fraudulent transactions to further facilitate the fraud.

In total, Comeaux and his co-conspirators stole approximately $1.1 during the conspiracy.

Comeaux was ordered into custody following the hearing today. 

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Searle is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 4, 2016