Arkansas Man Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud Scheme
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Crawford, Ark., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to leading a bank fraud conspiracy that used stolen mail and fake identifications to cash nearly $160,000 in fraudulent checks in Webster County, Mo., and elsewhere.
Phillip Daren Shockey, 49, of Crawford, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to the charge contained in an Aug. 27, 2014, federal indictment. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Shockey must pay a money judgment of $159,842, which represents the proceeds of the conspiracy and for which he is jointly and severally liable to pay with co-defendants.
By pleading guilty today, Shockey admitted that he was the leader of the conspiracy to defraud more than a dozen banks from July 31, 2013, to Feb. 28, 2014, by passing counterfeited and forged checks with fake identification documents. At least 12 co-conspirators stole mail, printed counterfeit checks, passed counterfeit checks with fake identification and opened at least five fictitious businesses for the sole purpose of concealing the deposit and subsequent withdrawal of counterfeit checks.
Shockey recruited co-conspirators to steal mail and act as “check runners” who used false identity documents in order to cash fraudulent checks drawn upon the accounts of bank customers. Shockey possessed computers, printers, scanners, cell phones, thumb drives, stolen mail and software in order to produce fraudulent identification and checks for his co-conspirators. Shockey also used false identifications of the banks’ customers and others in order to pass and attempt to pass fraudulent checks.
Shockey and those working at his direction passed and attempted to pass approximately 51 checks for a loss of at least $159,842.
Under federal statutes, Shockey is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull, II. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service Financial Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Postal Service – Criminal Investigations, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Tulsa, Okla., Police Department, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Webster County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Blue Springs, Mo., Police Department, the Monett, Mo., Police Department, the Pierce City, Mo., Police Department, the St. Clair County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Rolla, Mo., Police Department and the Catoosa, Okla., Police Department.