Home Norfolk Press Releases 2009 Men Sentenced for Attempting to Defraud USAA Bank of $1.5 Million

Men Sentenced for Attempting to Defraud USAA Bank of $1.5 Million

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 19, 2009
  • Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331

NEWPORT NEWS, VA—Two men were sentenced today for operating an elaborate scheme seeking to defraud financial institutions—largely servicing military members—of approximately $1.5 million.

Joseph M. Cherry, II, 29, of Norfolk, Va., was sentenced to 112 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release, and Bruce Bridges, 26, of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced to 79 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. They were ordered to pay restitution exceeding $796,000. Bridges pled guilty on June 23, 2009 and Cherry pled guilty on July 28, 2009, to their part in a bank fraud conspiracy and concealment money laundering scheme.

“These men attempted to divert millions from deserving military families through their fraud and deceit. Thanks to the FBI and Postal Service, these defendants were convicted and will now spend years in prison for their crimes,” said Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, who made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Robert G. Doumar.

According to court documents, Cherry, Bridges and a co-conspirator, Pamela Dunbar, engaged in a three-year scheme to defraud USAA Bank and other financial institutions by obtaining military pre-commissioned loans, consumer loans, and vehicle loans in the identities of others and using false information on applications. Dunbar pled guilty on Aug. 14, 2009, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7, 2009.

This case was investigated by the FBI in San Antonio and United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Brian Samuels prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.