United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced the unsealing of a Second Superseding Indictment charging the following: Michael Anthony Griffin, Sr. (“MGriffin”) 52, of Knightdale, North Carolina; Regina Griffin (MGriffin’s sister), 48, of Raleigh, North Carolina; Angela Griffin (MGriffin’s wife), 52, of Knightdale, North Carolina; Creshun Alexandria Griffin (MGriffin’s daughter), 26, of Knightdale, North Carolina; Sharon Annita Edmond (MGriffin’s sister), 51, of Raleigh, North Carolina; Katina Griffin Perry (MGriffin’s sister), 47, of Raleigh, North Carolina; Harvey Griffin (MGriffin’s brother) 46, of Raleigh, North Carolina; Melvin Griffin (MGriffin’s brother), 44, of Knightdale, North Carolina; Shawn Allen Farmer, 51, of Cary, North Carolina; Jasmine Mariah Davis, 28, of Lakeland, Florida; Tyrone Edmonds, 46, of Weldon, North Carolina; Conscina Marie Brooks, 27, of Knightdale, North Carolina; and Jasper Deonta Goodman, 46, of Raleigh, North Carolina. The charge includes 50 counts, consisting of Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, Making False Statements to a Bank on Loan, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Perjury.
This is yet another case where credit repair schemes promoted the use of alternative SocialSecurity Numbers to use in place of the assigned Social Security Number. The use of Credit Profile Numbers (CPN) can land you in hot water, or even jail.
The United States Attorney stated, “After months of continuing investigation we are finally bringing to justice many of those who participated in this expansive fraud upon banks, merchants, and the credit market as a whole. The ongoing pandemic has not slowed our efforts to hold accountable all of those who would engage in the frauds charged in this case.”
The indictment charges that MGriffin, operating from his business location in Raleigh and home in Knightdale, accepted fees from clients for alleged credit repair services. The indictment alleges that, in reality, Griffin was creating fictitious credit profiles and fraudulently altering client credit data through the use of fictitious police reports.
The indictment further charges that various defendants conspired with MGriffin to defraud Synchrony Bank, a Lowe’s credit card provider, by opening credit accounts in the name of fraudulent identities, cashing out the accounts through prepaid card purchases, and then defaulting on the credit accounts. The indictment also charges various defendants with similar frauds against other banks, including Capital One and Discover.
The indictment further charges various defendants with using fraudulent identities, bank statements, pay stubs, and other documents, for use in defrauding banks, lenders, merchants, and landlords. In one such charge, MGriffin is charged with presenting a fraudulent social security card and number to Johnson Automotive to purchase a Hyundai Genesis, a vehicle with a purchase price of more than $72,000.
The indictment further charges the defendants with aggravated identity theft, in that many of the fraudulent identities utilized in the scheme involved the use of a stolen social security number.
Lastly, certain defendants are further charged with committing perjury for lying to a federal grand jury.
The charges were unsealed today following the arrest of several of the defendants.
If convicted, the maximum punishment for committing Bank Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 1349, is not more than 30 years in prison. The maximum punishment for Wire Fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, is not more than 20 years imprisonment. The maximum punishment for Making a False Statement to a Bank on a Loan is not more than 30 years in prison. The maximum penalty for committing Aggravated Identity Theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1), is not less than two years imprisonment, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed.
The investigation of this case continues, and is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represents the United States.