St. Clair County Fraud Ring Charged With Using Stolen Identities in Cell Phone Scam | USAO-SDIL

East St. Louis, Illinois (USDOJ.Today) Four St. Clair County residents are facing federal fraud charges today after an East St. Louis grand jury returned a five-count indictment against them. Michael Henderson, 36, of Fairview Heights, Kyetia Hines, 37, of Belleville, Antoinette Z. Davis, 23, of Cahokia, and Jasmine Davison, 27, of Cahokia, are accused of devising and participating in a scheme to defraud Sprint stores in the Metro East using stolen identities.

According to the indictment, the four defendants operated their scheme from October 2015 to May 2018, in St. Clair and Madison Counties and elsewhere. They allegedly set up new accounts for
cellular service using the names and social security numbers of other people and then used those accounts to acquire new cellphones under contract. Instead of using the phones, however, the
defendants allegedly sold them to other cellular retail stores for cash.

The indictment alleges that Henderson worked at a Sprint store in Belleville during the conspiracy and used his position to help facilitate the fraud. Defendants Hines, Davis, and Davison would
allegedly acquire up to four phones at a time and immediately cancel the accounts after the phones were acquired. The alleged ringleader of the scheme – Tamecia Buckley, 37, of Cahokia – is also
named in the indictment but was charged separately back in July.

An indictment is merely a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

Buckley has already pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft, among other charges. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20. Henderson and Davis appeared in federal district court yesterday for their initial appearances and pleaded not guilty. Their trial has been scheduled for Nov. 3. Hines is set to make her initial appearance on Sept. 10. Davison has not yet been arrested.

Each defendant is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory sentence of two years, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.  The investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Cahokia Police Department.
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