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Feds indict locals

Charges stem from DHR fake loan scheme

Four of the six arrested in September for allegedly using DHR client information to obtain fraudulent loans have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

The four, including two Escambia County Department of Human Resource employees, are facing more than 400 criminal charges locally following a two-year joint investigation by the Brewton Police Department and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

The case came to light following an internal audit at a local loan company revealed an employee – Nakia Nettles of Brewton – had allegedly obtain the fraudulent loans.

Randy Nicholson, assistant chief with the Brewton Police Department, said previously, “This case began after we learned that the Social Security numbers and other identifying items of information from clients were being used at local a ‘fast cash, title loan’ location.

“During the course of the investigation we learned the group used the practice to obtain more than $40,000 in fraudulent loans,” he said.

As a result, Nettles faces one count of theft of property I, 76 counts of identity theft and 76 counts of possession of a forged instrument locally.

While the specifics of the federal indictment are sealed, The Brewton Standard confirmed that Nettles is charged with conspiracy, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft at the federal level.

Nettles’ co-conspirators face similar charges, a spokesman at the federal courthouse in Mobile said, and includes:

• DHR employee Monique Pierre Louis, who faces 17 counts each of theft of property II, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument and ethics violations locally and conspiracy and two counts each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft at the federal level;

• DHR employee Marilyn Bass, who faces three counts each of theft of property II, identity theft, possession of a forged instrument and ethics violations locally and one count each of conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft at the federal level; and,

• Valarie Anderson, who faces 28 counts each of theft of property II, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument on a local level and two counts each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft at the federal level.

Also charged in the case was Jeffery Redmon for two counts each of theft of property II, possession of a forged instrument and identity theft locally. He faces no federal charges in the case.