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Press Release

Final Member of Large Bank Fraud Ring Sentenced

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Ring Stole Nearly $1 Million using Stolen Checks to make Fraudulent Deposits

          The final member of a large bank fraud ring responsible for nearly a million dollars in fraud was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Seattle, announced United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  SHAWN ANDRE TURNER, 26, of Kent, Washington was sentenced October 7, 2016 to 25 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release.  TURNER is the last of five defendants sentenced to prison terms of more than two years.  In all, ten defendants were indicted for a fraud scheme involving seven different financial institutions.  Between November of 2010 and February 2015, the co-schemers used 219 different bank accounts to steal more than $987,000 from the banks.  U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones imposed the sentence.

          According to records in the case, the defendants used stolen and forged checks to make fraudulent deposits into various bank accounts.  Using debit cards, the co-schemers would withdraw large amounts of cash before the bank determined the checks used to inflate the balance were no good.  Many of the people whose bank accounts were inflated were complicit in the fraud, allowing the co-schemers to use their debit cards.  According to law enforcement records, many of the checks were stolen in car prowls and then used for the fraud.  Others were fictitious, using otherwise legitimate account information on fabricated checks.  The victim banks include: Bank of America, Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU), TwinStar Credit Union, Wells Fargo Bank, Sound Credit Union, Key Bank, and Banner Bank.  All are federally insured financial institutions.

            TURNER was responsible for fraud on 15 different bank accounts, causing a loss of about $80,000.  TURNER pleaded guilty to three counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft on April 28, 2016.

            The other defendants previously sentenced by the court include:

Clayton Leon Bias, Jr., 27, Kent, Washington – 2 years in prison   

Relonna Dollinn Ward,  36, Tacoma, Washington –25 months in prison
Calvin Dewayne Davis, 28, Federal Way, Washington – 42 months in prison
Arthur Napoleand Wilcher, 31, Tacoma, Washington – 42 months in prison

            Four other defendants, Okila Ayanna Malayka Ulmer, 33, of Renton, Avery Edward Lee, 34, of Milton, Sephora Quilyn Watkins, 29, of Tacoma, and Johnathan Marquiel Turner, 24, of Federal Way, were responsible for smaller amounts of fraud and were sentenced to brief periods of incarceration and multi-year terms of court supervision.  One defendant successfully completed federal drug court.

          The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton.


Updated October 11, 2016

Financial Fraud