Monroe women plead guilty to stolen vehicle title processing scheme
SHREVEPORT, La. – Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two Monroe women pleaded guilty last week to a scheme to issue new titles for stolen automobiles.
Felicia Simpson, 40, of Monroe, La., pleaded guilty on May 23 before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to one count of misprision of felony, and Ashley Owens, 30, of Monroe, La., pleaded guilty on May 24 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. According to the guilty pleas, from November 2014 to June 2015, the defendants illegally provided new titles to customers who possessed stolen or illegally obtained automobiles. Owens would receive the titles and then deliver them to Simpson who worked for a private title processing business in Monroe. Normally, it takes 10 to 14 days to process an automobile title application, which has to be sent to the Louisiana State Office of Motor Vehicles in Baton Rouge. Simpson, working as a title processor, could process an expedited title in 48 hours. They processed 104 titles during the course of the scheme.
Owens faces 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release, and Simpson faces three years in prison and one year of supervised release. They also face a $250,000 fine. The court set the sentencing date for August 30, 2017.
The FBI, Louisiana State Police, Miami Dade Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia and the Monroe Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Earl M. Campbell and Grady A. Crooks are prosecuting the case.