Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters Announces Indictment

Written By: Ishton W. Morton – July 6th, 2019

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters Announces Indictment

On June 28th, 2019 Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces indictment in theft and money laundering case.

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the indictment of Vernon Johnson (Date Of Birth is September 14th, 1992); DeMarlo Harris (Date Of Birth is November 10th, 1989); DeShay Melton (Date Of Birth is August 8th or 26th, 1993); Shammon Richard (Date Of Birth is July 30th, 1997); and Karen Smith (Date Of Birth is  January 5th, 1992) on charges involving the theft of over $1 million dollars from Fifth Third Bank.

Subsequently, Johnson is charged with 1 count of Theft (Felony 2), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 1), 1 count of Forgery (Felony 3), 2 counts of Money Laundering (Felony 3), 1 count of Theft (Felony 5), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 4), and 1 count of Forgery (Felony 5).  If convicted of all charges he faces the possibility of jail time of about 24 years in prison.

Telecommunication fraud is defined as theft of telecommunication services including (telephonescell phonescomputers, etc.) and/or the use of telecommunication services to commit other forms of fraud.

Money laundering is defined as the process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. The overall scheme of this process returns the money to the launderer in an obscure and indirect method.

Actually, one problem of criminal activities is accounting for the proceeds without raising the suspicion of law enforcement agencies. Additionally, considerable time and effort can be devoted into these strategies which are designed enable the safe use of those proceeds without raising unwanted suspicion.

Ironically, after money has been laundered, it can be used for legitimate purposes. However, law enforcement agencies of many jurisdictions have established sophisticated systems in an effort to detect suspicious transactions or activities, and many have reputable international cooperative arrangements to assist each other in these endeavors.

Harris is charged with 1 count of Theft (Felony 2), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 1), 1 count of Forgery (Felony 3) and 1 count of Money Laundering (Felony 3). If convicted of all charges he faces jail time with a possibility of up to 24 years in prison.

Melton is charged with 1 count of Theft (Felony 2), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 1), 1 count of Forgery (Felony 3) and 1 count of Money Laundering (Felony 3).  If convicted of all charges he faces the possibility of jail time of an estimated 24 years in prison.

Also, Richard is charged with 1 count of Theft (Felony 2), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 1), 1 count of Forgery (Felony 3) and 1 count of Money Laundering (Felony 3).  If convicted of all charges he too faces the possibility of jail time  of approximately 24 years in prison.

Smith is charged with 1 count of Theft (Felony 5), 1 count of Telecommunications Fraud (Felony 4), 1 count of Forgery (Felony 5) and 1 count of Money Laundering (Felony 3).  If convicted of all charges she faces the possibility jail time of approximately 6.5 years in prison.

Between Thursday, May 17th, 2018 and Friday, June 28th, 2019, Johnson and others deposited bad checks into numerous Fifth Third Bank accounts. However, before the checks cleared the bank, himself and the others listed in the indictment withdraw the funds from Fifth Third Bank ATMs, at the Belterra and JACK casinos and copious check cashing establishments. Seemingly, this was their common practice.

According to Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matthew T. Schuler;  “Vernon Johnson, DeMarlo Harris and Shammon Richard thought they could use JACK Cincinnati Casino to conduct their illegal activities, but their scheme was brought to light thanks to the diligent work of our Gaming Agents in monitoring and investigating suspicious financial transactions. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Hamilton County Prosecutor Deters and his office to hold these individuals accountable.”

Thusly, Hamilton County Prosecutor Deters had this to say; “I want to thank the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Fifth Third Bank and the Cincinnati Police Department for the excellent investigation in this case.  Thieves are always trying to think of new scams and ways to steal money.  Fortunately, in this case everyone worked together to shut down this criminal activity and the defendants are now facing many years in prison.”

 

Author: Ishton W. Morton

Formerly, Ishton W. Morton is an educator and promoter for community advocacy which includes creating programs and services, developing partnerships, and changing public policies, laws, and practices to improve the lifestyle of all people I’m still having an overwhelming desire to provide an Outreach Continuing Education process through this media.

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