Memphis Man Sentenced to Federal Prison in Mail Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme
Memphis, TN – Shamari Johnson, 42, has been sentenced to 75 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Acting U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Murphy Jr., announced the sentence today.
According to information presented in court, on April 18, 2019, Johnson was charged in a two-count information with theft of mail and identity theft. The charges arose out of an incident in which the defendant was stopped by Collierville police after a Collierville resident observed him stealing mail out of his mailbox.
Listed below is a summary of Johnson’s activities:
• On August 27, 2019, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service received a mail theft complaint from victim K.M., who stated that he had mailed a check earlier in the month which had never made it to its destination. K.M. later learned that the check had been altered and passed at a Wal-Mart in Ashland City, TN. Law enforcement contacted Wal-Mart, which sent photos of a male suspect, later identified as Shamari Johnson.
• On December 23, 2019, the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office received a report from Collierville, TN police regarding a suspect driving a BMW taking mail from mailboxes. Collierville detective said that victim R.B. had witnessed a male suspect driving a white BMW removing mail from his mailbox. Law enforcement captured the license plate of the BMW 530I using a license plate reader, which revealed that the BMW was registered to Hertz Rental Car.
• On January 3, 2020, investigators in Collierville received information from Hertz Corporate Security documents indicating that the BMW was currently being rented by Shamari Johnson.
• On January 23, 2020, investigators learned of a mail theft from the Arlington Crime Facebook page showing a suspect driving a white BMW pulling up to a mailbox and removing the contents on January 21, 2020. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was informed and aware of this post regarding the incident in Arlington. Law enforcement discovered that Johnson had utilities at an address on Morning Hill Dr. Cordova, TN. Hertz Rental Car Investigator provided documentation that Johnson was still in possession of the BMW.
• That same day, law enforcement also learned of an investigation by Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) involving the fraudulent purchase of a Porsche valued at $45,998 from CarMax. Johnson was identified as the subject because he used his driver’s license photo on the fraudulent ID.
• On January 29, 2020, investigators conducted surveillance at the Morning Hill Dr. address and discovered the white BMW 530I parked in front of the address. A search warrant was obtained.
• That same day, law enforcement discovered hundreds of pieces of opened stolen mail containing personal identifying information of over 100 individuals, check stock, counterfeit checks, and fake IDs in the Morning Hill Dr. residence. Investigators further discovered a debit card in the name of victim R.S., in whose name the Porsche was purchased, as well as an ID and paperwork from CarMax. Investigators found a receipt for a certain storage unit located at Sentry Self Storage in Cordova, TN.
• That same day, Johnson agreed to speak with investigators and admitted to purchasing the Porsche using the identity of victim R.S. Johnson stated that he obtained the driver’s license through mail theft and he was also able to obtain a credit card in victim R.S.’s name.
• On January 30, 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at Johnson’s rented storage unit at Sentry Self Storage and discovered additional pieces of stolen mail, counterfeit checks, and fake IDs. That same day, investigators also executed a search warrant on the white BMW 530I and discovered materials used to make fake IDs and several counterfeit checks.
• Additional evidence seized included approximately 140 counterfeit checks drawn on 35 different banks, which appeared to have been passed at Wal-Mart stores. The total for the 140 checks was $59,247.
• On March 3, 2020, investigators received security camera footage from Wal-Mart Corporate Security from several Wal-Mart locations on January 18, and 19, 2020 which showed Johnson making purchases using checks which were identified as being counterfeit.
“A large part of the Postal Inspection Service’s mission is to ensure the public’s trust and the sanctity of the U.S. Mail. These types of crimes against postal customers compromise that trust. This sentence reflects the serious nature of the offense and will hopefully be a deterrent to others,” said Tommy D. Coke, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Collierville Police Department.
On October 28, 2021, U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr., sentenced Johnson to 75 months in federal prison; three years supervised release; and restitution and criminal forfeiture of $105,245. There is no parole in the federal system.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Cotten prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.