Local man among 13 indicted in postal bank fraud conspiracy

A Dayton man was among 13 people federally indicted in a scheme in which alleged co-conspirators accessed mail to steal checks.

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A superseding indictment alleged that starting in September 2016 through August 2017, Charlee D. Mitchell, 26, of Dayton and a dozen other defendants conspired to unlawfully negotiate checks and money orders stolen from the U.S. mail, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

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The 13 individuals were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud in an 18-count superseding indictment. Those charges each have maximum penalties of 30 years in prison.

Others charged include: Za Darrick J. Brooks, 24, Columbus; Thomas P. Williams, Jr., 23, Pickerington; Jordan L. McCorvey, 24, Columbus; Neshaun M. T. Walls, 22, Columbus; Milahn M. Wright, 23, Columbus; Jamicia R. Gordon, 22, Columbus; Courtney N. Bruce, 23, Columbus; Donte L. Rippey-Young, 23, Gahanna; Joshua O. Saunders, 24, Columbus; Chevez M. Stanley, 26, Columbus; Terry T. Reynolds, 20, Columbus; Justin L. Brooks, 25, Columbus.

Four defendants — Williams, Gordon, Bruce and Rippey-Young – were once employed by the United States Postal Service, according to the release.

According to the superseding indictment, co-conspirators used Postal Service property to illegally access blue collection boxes in the greater metropolitan Columbus area.

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Williams, Gordon and Bruce allegedly gave or sold Postal Service property in order to steal the checks and money orders and to aid and abet the other defendants in doing the same, according to the press release. Co-conspirators then allegedly cashed the stolen checks and money orders at ATMs and through bank mobile deposit apps, according to the release.

Part of the conspiracy also allegedly involved creating counterfeit checks from the stolen checks.

Some of the defendants used Twitter and Facebook to solicit individuals with bank accounts to participate in the conspiracy and permit the deposit of stolen checks into their bank accounts in exchange for money.

“It is estimated that the defendants caused a loss of at least $150,000 to financial institutions,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said in the release.

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