In this story from the FBI, dishonest people took advantage of both unsuspecting consumers and business associates by defrauding them.
One unfortunate aspect of this story is that their business partners appear to have been unaware of their previous criminal history.
While background checks and due diligence analysis can’t always guarantee a deception-free transaction, Private Investigative Services Group specializes in business due diligence investigations designed to help avoid risks like those outlined here in this real-life case.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man was sentenced today to nearly three years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to court documents, Brendyn J. Andrew, 27, of Gaithersburg, aided by a co-conspirator, used hundreds of stolen credit and debit card accounts to steal more than $150,000. In one part of the fraud scheme, Andrew obtained a full-size snack vending machine and created multiple bogus shell companies to pose as a legitimate snack-vending merchant. He then used his computer to encode stolen credit and debit card numbers onto blank cards, and executed fictitious transactions by swiping the newly encoded cards through the vending machine’s credit card payment terminal. Since the fictitious transactions appeared to be legitimate vending charges, Andrew caused the victim financial institutions to charge customers and electronically transfer the proceeds into accounts Andrew controlled.
Court documents also show that Andrew and his co-conspirator used stolen credit and debit card numbers and customer account information to make numerous fraudulent purchases from various merchants in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Those fraudulent purchases included a 50-round ammunition drum from a Northern Virginia firearms retailer.
Andrew carried out the scheme while on probation, and he continued the fraud despite multiple fraud arrests in Maryland and Virginia.
In addition to the sentence of 33 months in prison, Andrew was ordered to forfeit a 2013 Mercedes Benz, a handgun, and firearms accessories, items he had purchased with proceeds from the fraud. Andrew also was ordered to pay restitution.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Brian J. Ebert, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, and M. Jay Farr, Arlington County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Leonard O. Evans prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:18-cr-378.