Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Southern Illinois Women Plead Guilty in Fraud Case

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Jamie Lynn Erwin, 32, of Glen Carbon, Illinois; and Shadwonna Marie Bausily, 22, of Alton, Illinois, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, in East St. Louis. Bausily pleaded guilty on June 1, 2012, and Erwin pleaded guilty on June 4, 2012.

Shadwonna Bausily admitted that in 2010, while she was working as a hostess at Amarillo Tex’s Steakhouse and Saloon, in Alton, Illinois, a man with whom she had a romantic relationship, Miltiano Johnson, taught her to use a credit card “skimmer,” a small device capable of capturing credit card numbers and account information by swiping a credit card through a card-reading portion of the device. Johnson recruited Bausily to help him gather credit card information from customers of Amarillo Tex’s.

Jamie Erwin admitted that she was working as a waitress at the Amarillo Tex’s when Bausily approached her about helping Johnson and Bausily skim credit card information. Johnson and Bausily offered to pay Erwin to run customers’ credit cards through the skimmer when she took payments from them and then to return the skimmer full of credit card information to Johnson.

After Johnson received the skimmer back from Bausily and Erwin, he collected the stored information from the device. He then transferred the account information onto physical credit cards, generally using prepaid credit cards. Miltiano Johnson, along with his wife, Carlene Johnson, and friend, Michael Montgomery, would use the cards encoded with victim credit card information to purchase items at stores in the St. Louis metro area.

Miltiano Johnson, Carlene Johnson, and Michael Montgomery each pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and have been sentenced by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

At their sentencing hearings, both currently set for September 17, 2012, Erwin and Bausily each face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrimes Task Force, and in particular, by Detective David Vucich of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Katherine L. Lewis.

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