PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced today the sentences of New York and Connecticut residents for their involvement in a bank and identity fraud conspiracy. The charged defendants worked together and with others to use stolen identities of actual Regions Bank customers to steal over $125,000 from branches in northwest Florida, southern Alabama, Iowa, and Missouri in December 2019.
Nicole Maguire was sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges. Desmond Brannon, also known as Desmond Scott, was sentenced to 4 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud charges. Brannon was on supervised release for a prior federal bank fraud conspiracy conviction at the time he committed these offenses and is also awaiting violation proceedings in the Southern District of New York. Steven Mussington was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in prison following a two-day jury trial convicting him of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud charges. Another co-defendant, Chelsie Worthen, of Arkansas, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.
Alleged co-conspirators Darrell Wells and Georgia Ward, both New York residents, are being prosecuted in the Southern District of New York in a separate but related indictment. Ward pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and was sentenced to time served and an additional nine months of home confinement. Wells is awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
This case resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from Regions Bank Corporate Security Fraud Investigators, the Lynn Haven Police Department, the Cedar Falls (Iowa) Police Department, the Monticello (Iowa) Police Department, and the Jefferson City (Missouri) Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Forbes prosecuted the Northern District of Florida cases.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.