New Orleans Man Charged with Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and False Statements
Published 2:00 pm Sunday, November 14, 2021
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that COREY THOMAS, age 49, from New Orleans, was indicted on October 7, 2021 for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and making false statements to a federal agent, all stemming from alleged fraudulent charges made in someone else’s name at local stores. To protect the integrity of the investigation, the indictment remained sealed until now.
The grand jury returned a five-count indictment. The indictment charged THOMAS with one count of wire fraud, involving conduct in January of 2019. According to the indictment, THOMAS used a victim’s personal identifying information in an effort to make fraudulent charges at Best Buy and several Lowe’s Home Improvement locations. It is alleged, that THOMAS attempted the purchases on behalf of other actual customers, offering to charge the goods on a store credit card in exchange for a cash payment that was less than the purchase price. THOMAS is also charged with three counts of aggravated identity theft, corresponding to three fraudulent charges at Lowe’s locations in New Orleans and Slidell. THOMAS is also charged with one count of lying to federal agents, by denying that he was present at Lowe’s during a successful fraudulent charge and falsely stating that he did not know the customer who received the fraudulently obtained goods in that transaction.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that an indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of the wire fraud charge, THOMAS faces up to twenty years in prison. THOMAS faces a consecutive sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft. For the false statement, THOMAS faces up to five years in prison. Following any term of imprisonment, THOMAS faces up to three years of supervised release for the wire fraud and false statement counts, and up to one year of supervised release for each aggravated identity theft count. For all five counts, THOMAS faces a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain to THOMAS or the gross loss to any victims, as well as a mandatory $100 special assessment fee per count.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas D. Moses is in charge of the prosecution.