Texas Couple Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud-Related Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 14, 2013|
GULFPORT, MS—Jennifer Griswold, a/k/a Jennifer Lynn McDaniel a/k/a Jennifer Dubois, age 37, of Channelview, Texas, pled guilty today in U.S. District Court to failing to report and concealing wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen. Griswold’s husband, Dustin Griswold, 34, of Coldspring, Texas, pled guilty on August 7, 2013, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In 2009, Dustin Griswold searched for and found businesses on the Internet that were seeking shipping or transportation services. He contacted a business in Connecticut and represented himself and his fraudulent company, Harmoni Shipping, as a large multi-truck, multi-driver transportation company with the ability to transport national and international loads. Mr. Griswold agreed to ship products for the business, requiring payment on a weekly or otherwise frequent basis.
After receiving orders from the business to ship its products, Mr. Griswold contracted with United Parcel Service (UPS) Freight based in Richmond, Virginia, to transport the shipments for the customer. UPS Freight transported the shipments and sent the bills to the Griswolds for payment. The Griswolds never paid UPS Freight for their services, even though they were paid by their customer to ship the products. Over a two-month period, the Griswolds collected thousands of dollars from businesses who hired them to ship their goods, while incurring with UPS Freight a $782,000 bill, which was never paid. During the fraud, Jennifer Griswold made false statements to UPS Freight, claiming that a check had been mailed to UPS Freight and that a $29,000 wire payment was being made to UPS Freight, when in fact no payments of any kind were sent to UPS freight.
Dustin and Jennifer Griswold will be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex, III on November 6, 2013. The maximum penalty for Dustin Griswold’s charge of conspiracy is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for Jennifer Griswold’s charge of misprision of a felony is three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Gulfport Office, Texas Department of Public Safety-Criminal Investigations Division, and Vermont State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mike Hurst and Mary Helen Wall are prosecuting the case.