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A $3 million bank fraud scheme in Charlotte, NC just sent Terrell Freeman, 35, Joshua Monteith, 32, and Yanalise Hodge, 23, to prison. The scheme involved stolen checks and mail. The suspects were sentenced to prison on September 20, 2022.

Joshua Monteith, Terrell Freeman, and Yanalise Hodge

Joshua Monteith, Terrell Freeman, and Yanalise Hodge

Court documents say that the group masterminded a bank fraud scheme from October 2020 to September 2021. The defendants executed the fraud scheme in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia and defrauded at least seven financial institutions.

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The suspects used a stolen U.S. Postal Service key to open USPS collection boxes in the Charlotte area. They then stole business and personal checks from the boxes.
The USPS key was obtained following the armed robbery of a postal worker in November of 2020.

Fraudulent identifications and straw bank accounts were used to cash the stolen checks. Over the course of the scheme, the suspects deposited or attempted to deposit funds from approximately 86 stolen checks totaling over $3 million.

On September 26, 2021, Joshua was arrested after he used the stolen USPS key to open a collection box in the wealthy Ballantyne area. Law enforcement located 58 stolen checks totaling more than $19,000 in Joshua's vehicle.

On October 4, 2021, Terrell was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia. Law enforcement recovered approximately 1,500 stolen checks, totaling over $1.5 million in Terrell's vehicle.

Joshua, Yanalise, and Terrell each pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy. In addition to the prison term imposed, a U.S. District Judge also ordered Terrell to pay more than $394,000 as restitution.

Terrell was sentenced to 150 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Joshua was sentenced to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Yanalise was ordered to serve 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.