For Immediate Release
Grand Jury Returns Indictments
MADISON, WIS. -- A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, returned the following indictments today. You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted, the sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Former Employee of Spectrum Brands Charged with Fraud Scheme
Shonn Northam, 46, Briggsville, Wis., is charged in a 24-count indictment with mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft. The indictment alleges that from February 2013 to November 2014, Northam, while an employee of Spectrum Brand Holdings, Inc., conducted a scheme to defraud Spectrum and others.
The indictment alleges that Northam used his position as a customer service representative at Spectrum to embezzle money by submitting false warranty claims, through the following actions:
- In early 2013, Northam started US Proud, an organization that hosted beauty pageants for the LGBT community;
- He falsely claimed that Spectrum was sponsoring events hosted by US Proud;
- Northam submitted false warranty claims to Spectrum, and in some instances, used a variation of the name of a customer to create multiple payments;
- He had customer warranty checks delivered directly to himself;
- He forged endorsements on the checks and deposited them into bank accounts under his control;
- He misused the identities of friends, family members, and US Proud pageant participants to generate false warranty claim checks; and
- He lied to his supervisor at Spectrum when his actions were questioned.
The indictment alleges that through these fraudulent actions, Northam caused Spectrum to sustain a loss of approximately $280,644.
If convicted, Northam faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each of the six mail fraud, five wire fraud, and five money laundering counts. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of two years on each of the eight identity theft charges, which would be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed.
The charges against Northam are the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation and Middleton Police Department. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Graber.
Madison Man Charged with Bank Robbery
Reginald Morris, 47, Madison, Wis., is charged with bank robbery. The indictment alleges that Morris robbed the Associated Bank on Cottage Grove Road in Madison on March 22, 2017.
If convicted, Morris faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita Rumbelow.
Wisconsin Rapids Man Charged with Gun Crime
Sher Khang, 32, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment alleges that he possessed a .380 caliber handgun and ammunition on February 3, 2017.
If convicted, Khang faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The charge against him is the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita Rumbelow.
Two Charged with Illegally Reentering U.S.
In unrelated cases, two citizens of Mexico are charged with illegally reentering the United States after previously being deported. Fortino Velasquez-Jiminez, 36, was found in Wausau, Wis., on July 28, 2017. Jose Aguila-Flores, 40, was found in Sauk County, Wis., on July 31, 2017.
If convicted, each man faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The charges against them are the result of investigations by U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement. The prosecution of Velasquez-Jiminez is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman and the prosecution of Aguila-Flores is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Schlipper.