Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox Announces Inmate Sentenced for Tax Fraud/Identity Theft Scheme Orchestrated from Prison Cell

Mothers of Inmates also Involved in Scam



05 Sep, 2006, 01:00 ET from Michigan Attorney General

    LANSING, Mich., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Mike Cox
 announced today that Dale Morris, 42, an inmate at the Hiawatha
 Correctional Facility in Kinross, Michigan, was sentenced to 5 to 20 years
 in the Chippewa County Circuit Court by 50th Circuit Court Judge Nicholas
 Lambros.
     Morris was convicted of maintaining a sophisticated criminal enterprise
 that he orchestrated from his Michigan prison cell. Morris' scheme enlisted
 the help of two fellow Michigan inmates, Darius Moye and Richard Custer,
 their mothers, Mary Moye of Georgia and Linda Custer of Detroit, David
 Bullard of Inkster, and Sherry Drake of Detroit and involved the attempted
 use of thousands of stolen names and social security numbers, including
 several hundred stolen from the St. John's Medical System in Detroit, to
 defraud Michigan taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of State tax
 dollars. The hospital records were later seized in Georgia in Ms. Moye's
 home.
     "The sheer brazenness of this criminal enterprise is incredible," Cox
 said. "It just goes to show that law enforcement always has to be
 vigilant."
     "I want to compliment the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Postal
 Inspector for their help in investigating this scam and completing the work
 before the State of Michigan lost any money. I also want to compliment St.
 John's Medical System for their cooperation and assistance in this
 investigation. The hard work and cooperation by all these offices helped
 keep our State's taxpayers from being defrauded out of hundreds of
 thousands of their hard-earned dollars," Cox added.
     Morris, in prison as a 4th Habitual Offender (convicted of 3 prior
 felony convictions), was the ringleader of the scheme to fraudulently
 obtain Homestead Property Tax refunds that were intended for low income
 renters. While in prison, Morris' directed his co-conspirators to file
 hundreds of false homestead property tax claims with the Michigan
 Department of Treasury. These fraudulent filings, which used stolen names
 and social security numbers, claimed to be low income renters in Detroit.
 Hundreds of Michigan Treasury check "refunds" were in the process of being
 sent to various addresses in Detroit, many of which were non-existent, but
 all had a change of address form filed with the U.S. Post Office directing
 the checks to a Livonia P.O. Box. Incredibly, the P.O. Box was rented by
 Exarch Management Consultants -- which was incorporated by Morris while he
 was in prison.
     Fortunately, U.S. postal carriers noticed the large number of Treasury
 checks going to the Livonia P.O. Box and alerted authorities. The Michigan
 State Police, U.S. Postal Inspectors, and the Michigan Attorney General's
 Office unraveled the scheme quickly and charged all participants with
 Maintaining a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, a 20-year felony, and Filing
 False Tax Claims, a 5-year felony. When the defendants were arrested,
 thousands of additional tax claims were in the process of being filed. Had
 this fraud continued, the defendants would have defrauded the State of
 hundreds of thousands of dollars. Due to the quick action by the
 investigative team, the State suffered no loss.
     All the other defendants have been sentenced. David Bullard pled guilty
 to 2 counts of Forgery and Uttering and Publishing, both 14-year felonies.
 He was sentenced on 6/20/06 to 6 months jail. Richard Custard pled guilty
 to Tax Fraud, a 5-year felony, as a 3rd Habitual Offender and was sentenced
 on 8/2/06 to 1 year to 10 years in prison. This sentence is consecutive to
 the prison term he is already serving. Linda Custard pled guilty to Forgery
 and Filing a False Tax Return and was sentenced on 6/21/05 to 3 months
 jail. Mary Moye pled guilty to Tax Fraud and was sentenced on 6/20/05 to 3
 months jail. Sherry Drake pled guilty to Uttering and Publishing and Filing
 False Tax Returns and was sentenced on 6/20/06 to 3 months jail. Darius
 Moye pled guilty to 2 counts of filing false Tax Returns as a Habitual 3rd
 Offender and was sentenced on 6/20/05 to 1 1/2 years to 10 years in prison
 consecutive to the prison term his is already serving.
 
 

SOURCE Michigan Attorney General
    LANSING, Mich., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Mike Cox
 announced today that Dale Morris, 42, an inmate at the Hiawatha
 Correctional Facility in Kinross, Michigan, was sentenced to 5 to 20 years
 in the Chippewa County Circuit Court by 50th Circuit Court Judge Nicholas
 Lambros.
     Morris was convicted of maintaining a sophisticated criminal enterprise
 that he orchestrated from his Michigan prison cell. Morris' scheme enlisted
 the help of two fellow Michigan inmates, Darius Moye and Richard Custer,
 their mothers, Mary Moye of Georgia and Linda Custer of Detroit, David
 Bullard of Inkster, and Sherry Drake of Detroit and involved the attempted
 use of thousands of stolen names and social security numbers, including
 several hundred stolen from the St. John's Medical System in Detroit, to
 defraud Michigan taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of State tax
 dollars. The hospital records were later seized in Georgia in Ms. Moye's
 home.
     "The sheer brazenness of this criminal enterprise is incredible," Cox
 said. "It just goes to show that law enforcement always has to be
 vigilant."
     "I want to compliment the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Postal
 Inspector for their help in investigating this scam and completing the work
 before the State of Michigan lost any money. I also want to compliment St.
 John's Medical System for their cooperation and assistance in this
 investigation. The hard work and cooperation by all these offices helped
 keep our State's taxpayers from being defrauded out of hundreds of
 thousands of their hard-earned dollars," Cox added.
     Morris, in prison as a 4th Habitual Offender (convicted of 3 prior
 felony convictions), was the ringleader of the scheme to fraudulently
 obtain Homestead Property Tax refunds that were intended for low income
 renters. While in prison, Morris' directed his co-conspirators to file
 hundreds of false homestead property tax claims with the Michigan
 Department of Treasury. These fraudulent filings, which used stolen names
 and social security numbers, claimed to be low income renters in Detroit.
 Hundreds of Michigan Treasury check "refunds" were in the process of being
 sent to various addresses in Detroit, many of which were non-existent, but
 all had a change of address form filed with the U.S. Post Office directing
 the checks to a Livonia P.O. Box. Incredibly, the P.O. Box was rented by
 Exarch Management Consultants -- which was incorporated by Morris while he
 was in prison.
     Fortunately, U.S. postal carriers noticed the large number of Treasury
 checks going to the Livonia P.O. Box and alerted authorities. The Michigan
 State Police, U.S. Postal Inspectors, and the Michigan Attorney General's
 Office unraveled the scheme quickly and charged all participants with
 Maintaining a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, a 20-year felony, and Filing
 False Tax Claims, a 5-year felony. When the defendants were arrested,
 thousands of additional tax claims were in the process of being filed. Had
 this fraud continued, the defendants would have defrauded the State of
 hundreds of thousands of dollars. Due to the quick action by the
 investigative team, the State suffered no loss.
     All the other defendants have been sentenced. David Bullard pled guilty
 to 2 counts of Forgery and Uttering and Publishing, both 14-year felonies.
 He was sentenced on 6/20/06 to 6 months jail. Richard Custard pled guilty
 to Tax Fraud, a 5-year felony, as a 3rd Habitual Offender and was sentenced
 on 8/2/06 to 1 year to 10 years in prison. This sentence is consecutive to
 the prison term he is already serving. Linda Custard pled guilty to Forgery
 and Filing a False Tax Return and was sentenced on 6/21/05 to 3 months
 jail. Mary Moye pled guilty to Tax Fraud and was sentenced on 6/20/05 to 3
 months jail. Sherry Drake pled guilty to Uttering and Publishing and Filing
 False Tax Returns and was sentenced on 6/20/06 to 3 months jail. Darius
 Moye pled guilty to 2 counts of filing false Tax Returns as a Habitual 3rd
 Offender and was sentenced on 6/20/05 to 1 1/2 years to 10 years in prison
 consecutive to the prison term his is already serving.
 
 SOURCE Michigan Attorney General