A federal indictment unsealed in court on Oct. 4 charges two men and a woman for their involvement in a mail theft and bank fraud scheme, in which more than $2 million in stolen business checks were deposited into straw bank accounts, announced William T. Stetzer, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
According to allegations in the indictment, beginning in November 2020, Terrell Devon Freeman, 34, Joshua MacDavid Monteith, 31, and Yanalise Simone Hodge, 22, all of Charlotte, engaged ina bank fraud scheme involving stolen mail.
As alleged in the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators stole business checks and other mail from U.S. Postal Service collection boxes and business mailboxes in Charlotte and elsewhere in the region, and cashed the stolen checks using fraudulent identifications and straw bank accounts before the victim banks detected the fraud.
The indictment alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators executed the fraud scheme in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia and defrauded at least seven financial institutions. The indictment further alleges that the total face value of the business checks stolen in the scheme was over $2 million.
The federal indictment was unsealed today, following Freeman’s arrest and scheduled court appearance in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Georgia.
Monteith and Hodge appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer, following their arrest by law enforcement n Charlotte. The defendants are each charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy and multiple individual counts of bank fraud, which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Freeman and Hodge are also charged with aggravated identity theft, which carries a potential two-year prison sentence, consecutive to any other term imposed.