SALISBURY — Three Salisbury residents were indicted on Wednesday by a federal grand jury in a massive bank fraud scheme allegedly carried out over a three-year period.
U.S. District Attorney Rod Rosenstein announced on Wednesday a federal grand jury had indicted Christopher Andre Devine, 33, Quanishia Williamson-Ross, 31, and Lenee E. Williamson, 22, in connection with a bank fraud scheme during which the suspects allegedly used pirated personal identification information of numerous individuals to fraudulently obtain money and property. Each of the suspects now potentially faces decades in federal prison if convicted.
According to the 10-count indictment, from December 2008 through December 2011, at various locations in and around Salisbury and across Maryland and Pennsylvania, the three suspects allegedly opened checking accounts or had others open accounts at various banks in order to obtain check cards. According to the indictment, the conspirators deposited fraudulent checks into the accounts and used the associated check cards at ATM machines to withdraw funds.
The three suspects are also accused of making fraudulent identification documents using the pirated personal information of their victims but with photographs of themselves. The suspects then allegedly used the fraudulent identification documents such as check cards with their own pictures to make retail purchases, which they later returned for cash. In addition, the suspects allegedly used the phony check cards to obtain services such as utilities, cable television and cellular phone service and also used them to make purchases at restaurants, drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations and video rentals, for example.
According to the federal indictment, Devine, Williamson and Williamson-Ross did not pay for the services and merchandise they obtained through the use of the fraudulent check cards and checking accounts, resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars from the banks when the phony checks were returned as unpaid.
Each of the defendants now face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud conspiracy, 15 years in prison on each of four counts of access device fraud, two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, on four counts of aggravated identity theft and five years in prison for possession of five or more false identification documents. The defendants have been detained and no preliminary court appearances have been scheduled.