PHILADELPHIA – Shawn Hilliard, 30, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for his role as a ringleader of a nationwide bank fraud organization which stole more than $1.3 million from customers’ accounts. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones, II, ordered 3 years of supervised release, $1.3 million in restitution, and an $800 special assessment.
“Hilliard and his co-conspirators created a nationwide bank fraud organization which corrupted numerous bank employees and convinced them to provide confidential customer account information, including bank account numbers, answers to security questions, and photos of signature cards. The impact of Hilliard’s crimes on his victims is profound and far reaching, as the victims may suffer long lasting consequences of this organization’s criminal activity,” said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger. “Today’s sentence sends a clear message to those who might commit financial fraud that it will not be tolerated, and to those in positions of trust at our financial institutions, that they must do everything in their power to protect the security of their client’s confidential information.”
“HSI aggressively pursues scam artists who defraud unsuspecting victims by stealing sensitive banking information for their own financial gain. Let this case serve as a reminder to all of the importance of closely monitoring their bank accounts and reporting any unauthorized or suspicious activity within those accounts to their banks as soon as they are detected,” said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. “HSI remains committed to investigating criminals who perpetrate financial crimes like Mr. Hilliard, who, in this case, defrauded hundreds of victims across the United States. Today, Mr. Hilliard has been held accountable for his actions.”
Hilliard and his co-conspirators used a network of dozens of imposters to take over the compromised bank accounts and withdraw thousands of dollars in cash. Hilliard used the information provided by the corrupt bank employees to defeat the banks’ security measures. Hilliard and others then took road trips around the country to Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and elsewhere withdrawing funds from the compromised accounts. Hilliard and his co-conspirators employed drivers and handlers to transport the imposters from bank to bank and collect the stolen funds.
To date, ten members of the organization including two bank employees have pleaded guilty in federal court. Numerous other members of the organization have pleaded guilty in state court around the country.
The case was investigated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service, and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office with assistance from the Philadelphia Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Livermore.