Wake County pastor, former real estate agent convicted in family credit-fraud ring




  • In US
  • 2021-10-22 22:51:50Z
  • By Raleigh News and Observer
 

Several members of a Wake County family, including a former real estate agent and an online pastor, are facing prison, probation and nearly $300,000 in payments after being convicted on 50 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and perjury, prosecutors said.

Eleven defendants were accused in the case, which involved creating fake identities used to defraud banks and credit card providers, prosecutors said in a release Friday from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Raleigh businessman Michael Griffin, who lives in Knightdale, took fees from clients for alleged credit repair services, but he actually was creating fake credit profiles and using fake police reports to alter his clients' credit data, Acting-U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker III said in the release.

Griffin's family and others then opened credit accounts using those fake identities, and cashed out the accounts by making prepaid card purchases and defaulting on the credit accounts, according to investigators with the IRS Criminal Investigation division, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The crimes were perpetrated between July 2017 and August 2021, and defrauded several companies, including Lowe's credit card provider Synchrony Bank, Capital One and Discover, they said.

Griffin and another defendant, Jasper Deonta Goodman, have pleaded guilty to committing bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and making a false statement to a bank on a loan, but have not been sentenced yet, prosecutors said. They face 20 to 30 years in prison on each charge.

A third man, Shawn Allen Farmer, 52, of Cary, pleaded guilty in January to bank fraud, making false claims, and aiding and abetting, prosecutors said. He was sentenced in May to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $42,783 in restitution.

The rest of the defendants were sentenced Wednesday:

Regina Griffin: Griffin's 49-year-old sister, who lives in Raleigh and is a former real estate agent, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to influence a bank on a loan. She was sentenced to 14 months in prison, three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $70,606.72 in restitution.

Sharon Annita Edmond: Griffin's 57-year-old sister, who also lives in Raleigh and is an online pastor, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aiding and abetting. She was sentenced to 12 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $36,204 in restitution.

Creshun Alexandria Griffin: Griffin's 27-year-old daughter, who also lives in Knightdale, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding and abetting. She was sentenced to 30 day in jail, two years of supervised probation and 200 hours of community service. She also was ordered to pay $8,406.51 in restitution.

Katina Griffin Perry: Griffin's 48-year-old sister, who also lives in Raleigh, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. She was sentenced to two years of probation and 50 hours of community service.

Harvey Griffin: Griffin's 47-year-old brother, who also lives in Raleigh, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding and abetting. He was sentenced to time served, plus three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $7,609.75 in restitution.

Angela Griffin: Griffin's 53-year-old wife, who also lives in Knightdale, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding and abetting. She was sentenced to 12 months confinement, five years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $9,614.31 in restitution.

Melvin Griffin: Griffin's 45-year-old brother, who also lives in Knightdale, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding and abetting. He was sentenced to six months confinement, three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $42,861.98 in restitution.

Jasmine Mariah Davis: The 29-year-old Lakeland, Florida, resident pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding and abetting. She was sentenced to three months confinement, three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $69,502.71 in restitution.

Tyrone Edmonds: The 47-year-old Weldon, North Carolina, resident pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding and abetting. He was sentenced to time served, three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay $12,407.86 in restitution.

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