A South Carolina man pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy on April 1 for his role in a scheme that defrauded Lowe’s Companies Inc. of more than $450,000, announced William T. Stetzer, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Bobby Cherry, 58, of Manning, S.C., entered the plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge David C. Keesler.

According to filed plea documents and statements in court, Cherry, Russell Leroy Calvin, Michael Marcel Montgomery and other co-conspirators defrauded Lowe’s through a scheme involving fraudulent business accounts from August 2019 to March 2020.

Court records show Cherry and the co-defendants created fictional landscaping and home improvement companies, opened at least 25 fraudulent business accounts and used them to purchase more than $450,000 in goods from Lowe’s stores in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union, Lincoln, Cleveland and Iredell counties and in other states.

Cherry pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Michael Marcel Montgomery pleaded guilty to the same charge on Feb. 1. A sentencing date for Cherry and Montgomery hasn’t been set. Charges against Calvin are pending, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

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