Thursday, June 24, 2010

Six Guilty of $650K Travelers Cheques Fraud Scheme

Posted By CotoBlogzz 06 -24-2010 04:00 PM

SANTA ANA, CA  - Two defendants have been convicted of planning and recruiting four others in a $650,000 American Express Travelers Cheques fraud scheme. The six defendants have all pleaded guilty to fraudulently using forged American Express Travelers Cheques to purchase items at multiple retail stores and taking items back to collect a total of $650,000. The defendants were convicted of various charges in a 110-count criminal complaint including felony second degree commercial burglary, felony forgery, sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and crime-bail-crime.

Tyrone Donte Gray, 33, Los Angeles, Pleaded guilty today, Sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison.

Tyrica Jenice Goff, 31, Los Angeles, Pleaded guilty today, Expected to be sentenced to seven years in state prison at her sentencing July 30, 2010

Jazmine Williams, 22, Hawthorne,Pleaded guilty April 1, 2010, Sentenced to 210 days in jail
Brittany Ellessee Myvett, 18, Los Angeles, Pleaded guilty April 1, 2010, Sentenced to 210 days in jail
Niesha Sherri Johnson, 25, Lancaster, Pleaded guilty March 10, 2010, Sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years of formal probation.

Nedra Sherii Beard, 41, Los Angeles, Pleaded guilty to a court offer March 10, 2010, Sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years of formal probation, Mother of Johnson

Between December 2008 and February 2010, Gray and Goff participated in a fraudulent scheme to defraud retailers out of over $650,000 through the use of counterfeit American Express Travelers Cheques. They recruited Williams, Myvett, Johnson, and Beard between November 2009 and February 2010 to participate in the scheme. These crimes were committed throughout several Southern California counties including Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside.

The six defendants used the counterfeit Travelers Cheques to defraud retail stores including T.J. Maxx, T.J. Maxx HomeGoods, and Marshalls. Each counterfeit check was in the amount of $100. The defendants used the checks to purchase store items usually valued over $100. They used Travelers Cheques to fraudulently purchase the items and received cash back for the difference. The defendants then took some of the fraudulently purchased items to a different store in the same chain and returned the items for cash.

Deputy District Attorney Yvette Patko of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

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