Sentence Scammers Stopped

Warrick worked with his former girlfriend, Tanya Richard, a Bureau of Prisons employee who had access to sensitive information on prisoners. Richard created realistic-looking documentation to facilitate the scam, complete with seals and forged signatures from a U.S. Attorney that fooled many victims.

“The sad thing about this case is they manipulated people’s hopes,” Masington said. “They took advantage of the hope they had. These victims just wanted to help their family members who were incarcerated.”

After several years of the scam, one of the victims’ attorneys contacted the FBI, who began an investigation.

Investigators learned Warrick and his associates spent their ill-gotten gains on lavish lifestyles, including high-end cars, vacations, night clubs, and gambling.

Warrick pleaded guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud charges and was sentenced last year to 19 years in prison. Richard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced in October to 24 months in prison. Warrick’s wife, Colitha Bush, also participated in the scam and was sentenced to eight years. Four others were also convicted and sentenced.

At the fraudsters’ sentencing hearings, victims told emotional stories of having their hopes dashed and finances ruined.

“Some victims got home equity loans; others spent their grandchildren’s college funds,” said Special Agent Rose Medina of the Department of Justice OIG, who worked on the investigation with Masington. “Listening to these victims as they told their stories to the judge, I was struck by the emotional toll they endured and was proud that our investigation brought them closure and helped empower them.”

Masington noted this case is an example of the FBI’s commitment to equal justice.

“I hope this case sends the message that the system should be fair to everyone, whoever the victim might be. We’re protecting the integrity of the system,” Masington said. “The law applies to everyone. Just because you happen to be incarcerated doesn’t mean your issue is going to go unaddressed if you’re a victim.”

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* This article was originally published here


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