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Feds indict Charlotte area hip-hop group for $1.2 million fraud scheme

December 24, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Feds indict Charlotte area hip-hop group for $1.2 million fraud scheme

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The U.S. Justice Department announced the indictment against seven members and associates of a local North Carolina hip-hop group, “FreeBandz Gang” or “FBG,” for their roles in a $1.2 million bank and identity theft fraud plot.

According to a Justice Department press release, the indictment charged James Willingham Jr., 23, Damonte Withers, 27, Deandre Howze, 23, Jeffrey Monteith, 22, Quadarius Thomas, 23, Laerek Williams, 25, and Nemiah Davis, 25.

The seven suspects, who are all from Charlotte, have each been charged with multiple charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The DOJ indicated the defendants are all members and associates of FBG and used social media and Youtube to gain exposure by posting music videos. In videos and social media images, the FBG display guns, large amounts of cash, jewelry, and cars.

The indictment alleges that the defendants participated in fraud to help fund for their lavish lifestyles.

According to the DOJ, Withers, Howze, Monteith, Thomas, Williams, and Davis defrauded financial institutions through a cash-checking plot which involved worthless checks.

Withers and Thomas have also charged with firearms-related crimes.

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