November 30, 2021

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Online Pastor and Former Real Estate Agent Among Those Sentenced to Prison for Bank Fraud in Ongoing Identity Fraud Prosecution | USAO-EDNC

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Numerous defendants were sentenced in connection with charges contained in a 50-count, 2nd Superseding Indictment alleging various forms of Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, Conspiracy, and Perjury.

The indictment charges that defendant Michael Griffin (“MGriffin”), operating from his business location in Raleigh and home in Knightdale, accepted fees from clients for alleged credit repair services.  The indictment alleges that, in reality, Griffin was creating fictitious credit profiles and fraudulently altering client credit data through the use of fictitious police reports.

The indictment further charges that various defendants, many of whom were family, conspired with MGriffin to defraud Synchrony Bank, a Lowe’s credit card provider, by opening credit accounts in the name of fraudulent identities, cashing out the accounts through prepaid card purchases, and then defaulting on the credit accounts.  The indictment also charges various defendants with similar frauds against other banks, including Capital One and Discover.

Regina Griffin (MGriffin’s sister), 49, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and former real estate agent; pled guilty to Count 29 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged False Statement to Influence a Bank on a Loan, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1014.  The offense occurred between February 11, 2019 and March 19, 2019, and involved Alcova Mortgage, LLC.  On Wednesday, October 20,2021, the Court sentenced Regina Griffin to 14 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  She was also ordered to make restitution of $70,606.72.

Sharon Annita Edmond (MGriffin’s sister), 57, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and an online pastor; pled guilty to Count 25 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Wire Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 2.  The offense occurred on or about April 16, 2018 and involved Strategic Funding Partners, doing business as Merchant Cash Group.  On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the Court sentenced Sharon Edmond to 12 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  She was also ordered to make restitution of $36,204.00.

Creshun Alexandria Griffin (MGriffin’s daughter), 27, of Knightdale, North Carolina; pled guilty to Count 16 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2.  The offense occurred between August 11, 2017 and December 31, 2018 and involved Capital One Bank.  On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the Court sentenced Creshun Griffin to 30 day in custody, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and 200 hours of community service.   She was also ordered to make restitution of $8,406.51.

Katina Griffin Perry (MGriffin’s sister), 48, of Raleigh, North Carolina; pled guilty to Count 27 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343.  The offense occurred between August 21, 2017 and September 19, 2017 and involved Kia Motor Finance.  On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the Court sentenced Katina Perry to 2 years of probation and 50 hours of community service. 

Harvey Griffin (MGriffin’s brother) 47, of Raleigh, North Carolina; pled guilty to Count 11 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2.  The offense occurred between October of 2017 and January of 2018 and involved Synchrony Bank.  On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the Court sentenced Harvey Griffin to Time Served, plus 3 years of supervised release.   He was also ordered to make restitution of $7,609.75.

Angela Griffin (MGriffin’s wife), 53, of Knightdale, North Carolina; pled guilty to Count 13 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2.  The offense occurred between November 21, 2017 and December 21, 2017 and involved Synchrony Bank.  Today, the Court sentenced Angela Griffin to 12 months confinement and five years of supervised release.  She was also ordered to make restitution of $9,614.31.

Melvin Griffin (MGriffin’s brother), 45, of Knightdale, North Carolina; pled guilty to Count 18 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2.  The offense occurred between October 5, 2017 and August 31, 2018 and involved Discover Bank.  Today, the Court sentenced Melvin Griffin to six months confinement plus three years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to make restitution of $42,861.98.

Jasmine Mariah Davis, 29, of Lakeland, Florida; pled guilty to Count 11 of the 2nd Superseding Indictment, which charged Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2.  The offense occurred between October of 2017 and February of 2018 and involved Synchrony Bank.  Today, the Court sentenced Jasmine Davis to three months confinement plus three years of supervised release.  She was also ordered to make restitution of $69,502.71.

Tyrone Edmonds, 47 of Weldon, North Carolina, pled guilty on February 8, 2021 to Count 6, which charged Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2.  The offense occurred between July of 2017 and August of 2021, and involved Synchrony Bank.  Today, the Court sentenced Tyrone Edmonds to time served and three years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to make restitution of $12,407.86.

In January of this year, Shawn Allen Farmer, 52, of Cary, North Carolina, also named in the Second Superseding Indictment, pled guilty to Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2, and Making False Claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 287.  In May of 2021 the Court sentenced Shawn Farmer to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $42,783 in restitution.

Additional defendants Michael Griffin and Jasper Deonta Goodman have also pled guilty but have not yet been sentenced.  The maximum punishment for committing Bank Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 1349, is not more than 30 years in prison.  The maximum punishment for Wire Fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, is not more than 20 years imprisonment.  The maximum punishment for Making a False Statement to a Bank on a Loan is not more than 30 years in prison. 

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represents the United States.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-CR-245-1D(2).

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