Eunice man convicted of fraud

LAFAYETTE- U.S. District Attorney Donald W. Washington recently announced that Charles Anderson, 31, of Eunice, has been sentenced in the United States District Court for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and the act of committing wire and mail fraud. District Judge Robert G. James sentenced Anderson to 21 months in federal prison and a term of three years of supervised release following confinement.

The defendant was also ordered to pay $2200 in restitution.

Co-conspirator in the case, Donald Ray Washington, also known as Umar Shakir Muhammad of Tallulah was sentenced in February of 2009 for conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

The guilty parties were indicted in August of 2008. Anderson pled guilty in March of 2009 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of each. Washington pled guilty in October of 2008 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

Anderson also appeared before Judge Robert James under a previous conviction in federal court for armed robbery and violating his supervised release. His supervised release was revoked and he was sentenced to 34 months in prison to run consecutive with the 21 month sentence.

While on supervised release for the armed robbery conviction, Anderson committed three additional armed robberies which are now pending in State District Court in Alexandria..

According to the indictment, from February of 2006 until March of 2006, Anderson and Washington devised and executed a scheme to defraud inmates by claiming they could obtain sentencing reductions for a fee.

During the scheme, Anderson offered inmates two options in the scheme to defraud inmates and family members by obtaining their money and/or property by means of false representation.

Under option one, Anderson offered to sell photographs of individuals under indictment or federal investigation for drug trafficking violations to certain inmates. The inmates were lead to believe that they could purchase these photographs to assist in convincing federal agents and prosecutors to use inmates as government witnesses in pending investigations, which would aid in sentence reduction. These photos were actually of friends or complete strangers, none of whom were subjects of federal investigations.

Under option two, Anderson offered to three inmates that he had a female friend on the outside who worked undercover with federal drug investigators. He promised the inmates that for a fee, his friend would help assist undercover agents to purchase narcotics, which would in turn be credited to the inmate as substantial assistance to the government, earning them a sentence reduction.

Numerous phone calls took place between the two convicted, in order to plan the execution of these schemes. Victims and their families were defrauded more than $10,000.

Sentencing in federal court is determined by the discretion of federal judges and the governing statute. Parole has been abolished in the federal system.

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