Virginia: Three Face Federal Charges for Fake Legal Services Scheme
Prisoners held in jails in Newport News and Norfolk, Virginia were duped by a fictitious legal services company called “FamUnited,” also known as “Famm United” or “FamilyTranzitions.” The scammers behind the scheme, Teresa Gallop, 49, Jessie Davis, 20, and Delanio Vick, 31, allegedly stole prisoners’ identities along with their cellphones, wallets and identification cards, while promising legal assistance – including bonds that were never paid.
According to a federal indictment filed in the Eastern District of Virginia in November 2016, the company forged property release forms and power-of-attorney forms, which were used to drain the victims’ bank accounts and open new accounts in their names at Wells Fargo and SunTrust banks. The firm used the U.S. Postal Service to send letters to prisoners that included the “FamUnited” letterhead, contact information and blank power-of-attorney forms. According to recorded jailhouse phone calls, the company’s “paralegals” promised legal help in exchange for prisoners’ personal information and property.
On March 16, 2017, Gallop, Davis and Vick were charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements in an application to a federally insured institution and aggravated identity theft. Vick is accused of promoting the fraudulent scheme while incarcerated at the Norfolk jail. The charges remain pending.
Sources: www.washingtonpost.com, www.southsidedaily.com, www.wtkr.com