Two charged with bank fraud, ID theft via social media

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Hampton man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of bank fraud, identity theft and conspiracy in a case that illustrates the need to be vigilant on social media.

A federal indictment says Markis Jordan Dickerson, 21, and another defendant tricked account holders from SunTrust Bank along with Langley and Bayport Federal Credit unions into telling them their account information.

A federal prosecutor told judge Lawrence Leonard that Dickerson posted social media ads that said “If you want to make some money, hit me up.” Prosecutor Kaitlin Gratton said the enticement was a promise that money would be deposited into the victims’ accounts.

According to the indictment, Dickerson and Christopher Douglas Boone, of Newport News, would deposit worthless checks into the victims’ accounts, and then raid those accounts.

Dickerson and Boone were arrested March 1 in Hampton. Gratton says Dickerson was driving a white Mercedes with Boone in the backseat, and both had guns. She said police found hollow point bullets, counterfeit checks with the Norfolk City Seal, and receipts for bank deposits and withdrawals.

Gratton says after Dickerson was released on bond, he was arrested again on April 13 with debit cards, blank check stock and a printer. According to Gratton, Dickerson was wearing a U.S. Coast Guard jumper, but was not a member of the Coast Guard.

The indictment says Dickerson and Boone created other bogus checks supposedly drawn on accounts from Walmart, 1st Advantage Credit Union, Empower Retirement, Crossway Properties, Kmart and Tidewater Staffing.

Gratton described another Instagram message of Dickerson posing with a gun and the message, “I’m a boss now, but I was a shooter first.”

Dickerson and Boone are charged with conspiracy, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Boone faces an additional charge of possession of a gun by a convicted felon.

Dickerson pleaded not guilty and his trial was set for September 6. WAVY News will keep you posted on Boone’s case as it develops.

The government is seeking at least $37,000 in restitution. The prosecutor says four defendants were convicted in a similar case last year, and their sentences ranged from four to six years.