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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Thief Who Helped Steal Nearly $800,000 from the City of Bryan Sent to Prison

HOUSTON - A 40-year-old resident of Atlanta, Georgia, resident has been sentenced to prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Derrick Ervin pleaded guilty Nov. 19, 2018.

Today, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes sentenced Ervin to 77 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $998,188.50. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that the prison term would give Ervin the chance to live Also, Judge Hughes stated, “Prison will give you the opportunity to live “without temptation.”

At the time of his guilty plea, Ervin admitted that in March 2018, conspirators sent fraudulent emails to the City of Bryan posing as the city’s vendors. In them, conspirators directed the city to send money to what were purportedly the vendors’ “new” bank accounts.

In reality, however, the conspirators controlled those accounts.

Three payments were sent, totaling $779,807.50.

Ervin participated in the conspiracy by opening a bank account under a stolen identity to receive much of the stolen money and distributing it amongst the conspirators. 

As part of his guilty plea, Ervin also admitted to participating in other frauds including receiving at least $50,000 in October 2017 as part of a romance fraud scheme, as well as more than $90,000 as part of a business email compromise. 

Ervin has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI and the Bryan Police Department jointly conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Chu prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated February 19, 2019