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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Apr 21

U.S. Attorney’s Office Honors Newport News Police Detectives

Posted on April 21, 2016 at 9:31 AM by Communications Department

Recently, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia held its annual Public Service Awards ceremony at the Newport News Police Department’s headquarters building. Among those who received awards 4-21 newport news police_SCwas a group of dedicated Newport News investigators working in conjunction with the Economic Crimes Unit of the police department.

In a case that began nearly two years ago, members of a street gang began to defraud several banks in the Tidewater area. The scheme involved the recruitment of legitimate bank account holders, who would then surrender their bank cards to gang members in exchange for cash. Once in possession of a bank card, the gang would then deposit worthless or altered checks into the account holder’s bank account and withdraw money, via an ATM, against the fraudulent deposit they just made. This was just one part of the gang’s scheme to defraud banks and retailers of nearly three-hundred thousand dollars in cash and merchandise.

When Detective E. Benson became aware of what was happening, she immediately began building a case against four of the most active members of the gang. As the investigation gained momentum, she enlisted the help of an experienced team of investigators to ensure the gang members were put out of business in short order.

As a result of the team’s hard work and dedication the four gang members were charged in June of 2015, in a 21-count indictment with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft. The gang members were sentenced to up to six years each in federal prison for their participation in this scheme.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office synopsis of the investigation praised the expediency and efficiency of the investigation.