Memphis Man Sentenced for Defrauding Multiple Financial Institutions of More Than $250,000
Memphis, TN – A Memphis man has been sentenced to federal prison for defrauding multiple financial institutions of more than a quarter-million dollars. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in court, Randall Meridith, 24, of Memphis, Tennessee, recruited individuals with existing bank accounts to allow him access to their accounts in exchange for cash payments. The criminal activity took place between January 2013 and May 2015.
In many instances, Meridith convinced the account holders that he was involved in a legitimate business operation, and that they could make money, if they allowed him to utilize their bank accounts for a limited time. After Meridith obtained the account holders’ bank cards and PIN numbers, he deposited (or had deposited on his behalf) more than $250,000 worth of stolen checks into numerous accounts at financial institutions in Shelby County and other areas. The financial institutions included USAA Federal Savings Bank, Bank of America, FedEx Employees Credit Association and Wright-Patt Credit Union. Shortly after the deposits were made, Meridith would withdraw the funds at ATMs, or made purchases using the bank cards before the financial institutions were alerted to the fraud.
One of Meridith’s many fraudulent transactions occurred on May 11, 2015, at an ATM on Nonconnah Boulevard. Meridith deposited a stolen check drawn on a USAA Federal Savings Bank account and payable to victim A.T. in the amount of $940 into the FedEx Credit Association account belonging to the victim. Meridith then quickly withdrew funds from the FedEx Credit account via ATMs, and used the bank card associated with the account to make purchases at Memphis Walmarts.
At Meridith’s sentencing, it was revealed that multiple victims went through a variety of financial challenges because of his scheme, including trouble making mortgage and car payments.
In December 2015, Meridith pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman to one count of bank fraud.
On Monday, July 18, 2016, Judge Lipman sentenced Meridith to 60 months in federal prison. Meridith was also ordered to pay more than $63,000 in restitution.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Tennessee Highway Patrol Identity Crimes Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hall prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.