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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Columbia Man Sentenced for $1.1 Million Investment Fraud Scheme


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Columbia, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for a $1.1 million investment fraud scheme.

Billings Chapman, 79, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to one year and six months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Chapman to pay $1,123,814 in restitution to his victims.

On April 30, 2018, Chapman pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. Chapman was partial owner of CheckmarcUSA, LLC, a company formed to provide bad check collection services to banks. He also owned Federal Financial Services, LLC (FFS), which he used to solicit investors.

Chapman admitted that he engaged in a scheme from May 26, 2011, to April 30, 2014, to defraud investors by making materially false representations and using investment funds for his own personal benefit. Chapman guaranteed monthly payments to investors and misrepresented to investors his financial condition and the financial condition of FFS. Chapman falsely claimed that large numbers of banks had signed up for CheckmarcUSA’s services and that FFS was accruing substantial income as a result.

Chapman did not tell investors that he had been barred from engaging in the securities industry in 1970 by the National Association of Securities Dealers, or that he had been issued cease and desist orders in 1991 and in 2004 from the Missouri Commissioner of Securities for engaging in fraudulent or illegal practices in the securities business. Chapman, who was not registered to sell securities in Missouri, used investor money for his own personal gain and to make payments to prior investors.

According to court documents, the loss to Chapman’s victims totaled $1,123,814. A number of the victims were devastated financially by their loss. For example, one victim lost all of his retirement savings and had to suspend his retirement and resume working. Another victim, a single mother of two, invested her entire savings with Chapman and FFS, and her loss caused her to be unable to pay her bills.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the FBI.

Columbia Man Sentenced for Armed Bank Robbery


Carried Infant in the Back Seat of Get-Away Car During High-Speed Chase

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Columbia, Mo., man who robbed a bank and led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase while carrying an infant in the back seat of his get-away car was sentenced in federal court today.

Larome Demetrius Humphrey, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On July 26, 2018, Humphrey pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to court documents, Humphrey and two other men stole $2,588 from Callaway Bank, 5600 Bull Run Dr., Columbia, at gunpoint on April 27, 2017. Humphrey and another man entered the bank with pistols at approximately 1:44 p.m., while a third man waited in the getaway vehicle. They jumped the teller counter, put their pistols to a teller’s head and demanded money. The money was placed in a plastic bag, then they left the bank.

Witnesses saw the thieves run from the bank and get into a 2007 Chevrolet Impala. Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers spotted the vehicle just east of the bank on I-70 in the area of Kingdom City, Mo. A vehicle pursuit ensued with speeds over 100 m.p.h. Troopers deployed stop sticks, and eventually the Impala left the roadway and struck a fence. All three of the thieves fled on foot but were apprehended by law enforcement officers.

When troopers searched the vehicle, they found a 1-year-old child who had been in the back seat of the Impala during the bank robbery and vehicle pursuit. The infant is the son of Humphrey’s girlfriend, who owns the car used in the robbery.

At the time of Humphrey’s arrest, a large sum of cash was discovered concealed in his underwear.

Humphrey has an extensive and violent criminal history, according to court documents. At age 18, Humphrey was convicted of aggravated assault, after he shot an individual during a robbery. At age 19, Humphrey was convicted of two charges of possession of marijuana. In 2011, Humphrey was convicted of felony facilitation of a sale of Alprazolam. In 2012, Humphrey was convicted of possession of marijuana and in 2014 he was convicted of attempted possession of marijuana.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI.

ATF Offers Reward for Information on Armed Robbery of Quick Cash Pawn in Greensboro


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the recent armed robbery of Quick Cash Pawn, a federal firearm licensee (FFL) in Greensboro, N.C.

At approximately 2:33 p.m. on Monday, November 5, 2018, two individuals entered Quick Cash Pawn on 2707 South Elm-Eugene St. in Greensboro and threatened the store employees at gunpoint. No one was injured during the robbery, but the suspects took both money and firearms from the business. The suspects had also been seen inside of Quick Cash Pawn earlier that same day.    

ATF is assisting the Greensboro Police Department in this investigation. Anyone with information should contact ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867), email ATFTips@atf.gov, or contact ATF through its website at www.atf.gov/contact/atf-tips. Tips may also be submitted to ATF through the ReportIt® app, available on both Google Play and the Apple App Store, or by visiting www.reportit.com (link is external). All calls and tips will be kept confidential.

ATF along with our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that our communities are safe, and that those who commit violent crimes such as this are held accountable. The reward is part of a larger national cooperative initiative between the NSSF and ATF in which NSSF matches ATF rewards in cases involving the theft of firearms from federally licensed firearms retailers. ATF works closely with members of the firearms industry to curb the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms.