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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 16, 2016

Ringleaders of Million-Dollar Shipping Theft Scheme Sentenced

Memphis, TN – Two men have been sentenced for their roles in a lucrative shipping theft scheme that defrauded FedEx and wireless carriers of more than $1.8 million. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.

According to information presented in court, Christopher T. Crawford, 32, of Memphis; and Jordan West, 28, of New York City; orchestrated a conspiracy to commit interstate shipping theft of wireless mobile devices from both Verizon and AT&T throughout 2013 and 2014. The mobile devices were being shipped to New York City and throughout the country by FedEx.

Crawford was employed with FedEx during a portion of the scheme’s duration. He used fraudulent FedEx corporate shipping accounts to print labels, which were used to over-label boxes of wireless devices. These boxes were diverted to West and other known and unknown co-conspirators in New York City and other areas through interstate commerce. Each box of merchandise contained thousands of dollars worth of Verizon and/or AT&T wireless mobile devices. West and other co-conspirators sold the mobile devices to third parties.

As part of the fraud, West sent thousands in U.S. currency via FedEx to Crawford for a share of the profits. Additionally, in mid-2013, Crawford contacted a FedEx vendor call center in Tucson, Arizona to set up a fraudulent corporate shipping meter account via his wireless mobile telephone.

Both defendants knew the wireless devices were stolen when they engaged in acts to perpetrate the crime. Ultimately, the interstate shipping theft scheme defrauded FedEx of more than $1.8 million.

On Thursday, December 15, 2016, Judge Fowlkes sentenced Crawford to 33 months in federal prison.

On Friday, December 16th, Judge Fowlkes sentenced West to 18 months in federal prison.

In addition to their sentences, Crawford and West will collectively be required to pay $1,812,226.08 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Memphis Cargo Theft Task Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Damon K. Griffin and Tony Arvin prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.

Updated December 16, 2016