U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
(216) 622-3600
September 9, 2015

Nineteen Named in Superseding Indictment for $200,000 Check-Kiting Conspiracy

Nineteen people from Northeast Ohio were named in an 85-count superseding indictment for their roles in a check-kiting conspiracy which defrauded banks out of $200,000, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.

Indicted are: Devinne P. Hollie, Sade Philpott, Shanita Hollie, Marnetta McPherson, Ahmerr Ellis, Calvin McPherson, Asia McPherson, Tavio Jack, Earl Walker, Matthew Johnson, Eddie Stacy. Jeffery Tate, Chad M. Mason, John T. Wilder, Anthony L. McPherson, Thiotis A. Greene, Clarissa V. Day, Toccara Moorer and Diamond C. Simpson. They are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and multiple counts of bank fraud.

The second superseding indictment alleges the Hollies, Philpott and Marnetta McPherson, acting together with their co-conspirators and others not charged, engaged in a check-kiting scheme in which they fraudulently obtained funds from financial institutions by depositing multiple counterfeit and forged checks into co-conspirators’ bank accounts and then withdrawing the proceeds from those accounts at ATMs, check cashing locations, a local casino, and through debit card purchases.

In most instances, the Hollies, Philpott and Marnetta McPherson found a co-conspirator who was willing and able to open a checking account at a bank. Once these co-conspirators obtained their debit cards and PINs for their accounts, they passed these items on to one of the four, who then deposited forged and counterfeit checks into the account-holders’ bank accounts. These deposits typically occurred late at night or in the early morning hours, when the banks were closed and could not detect that the checks were counterfeit and forged, according to the indictment.

The defendants and co-conspirators would then often meet at the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland, where the co-conspirators would use Total Rewards Cards from the casino linked to their bank accounts to make large scale cash withdrawals from the casino’s cage, according to the indictment.

The Hollies, Philpott, Marnetta McPherson and their co-conspirators made deposits of counterfeit and forged checks on approximately 84 different occasions. The false and fraudulent deposits were in excess of $450,000, and the banks lost more than $200,000.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of the factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, the defendants’ roles in the offense and the characteristics of the criminal conduct. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Om Kakani, Carmen Brown and Justin Seabury-Gould, following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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