OAKLAND – Dominic Deandre Gregory has been charged in a criminal complaint with wire fraud in connection with a scheme to raise money with an online campaign purporting to raise money for the funeral of fallen officer Patrick Underwood, announced U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson and Acting Special Agent in Charge Shawn M. Bradstreet of the U.S. Secret Service San Francisco Field Office.
According to the complaint filed September 28, 2020, and unsealed today, Gregory, 27, of Washington D.C., was a Special Police Officer in the District of Columbia when he created the online campaign. Gregory used the website GoFundMe to create the campaign and represented on the website and in communications to donors that he was a family member of Officer Patrick Underwood. Gregory also stated on the website that the campaign was created to raise money for Officer Underwood’s funeral.
Officer Underwood was a Federal Protective Service Officer who was shot and killed on May 29, 2020, while on duty guarding the federal building in Oakland, Calif. Gregory allegedly created the campaign on May 30, 2020, the day after the murder, and at times posted pleas for Underwood’s funeral, his wife, and his kids. Gregory set various fundraising goals on the website, including one for up to $90,000. According to the complaint, Gregory has no known connection to the Underwood family; also, Underwood was unmarried, and he had no children. The complaint alleges that even after the GoFundMe account was deactivated, Gregory encouraged donors to make contributions using an alternative payment service.
Gregory is charged with wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations. As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted of the charge, Gregory faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
Gregory made his initial federal court appearance this morning before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. Chief Magistrate Judge Spero ordered Gregory released on $25,000 bond. Gregory’s next appearance is scheduled for November 2, 2020, before Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley for a status conference.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly K. Priedeman is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Alexa Leisure. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service.