MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Jason Edge, 45, and Shelly Scott, 43, both from Kansas City, Missouri, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 48 months in prison for conspiring with each other to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Scott was sentenced on November 16 and Edge was sentenced November 21. Edge and Scott were also ordered to pay restitution of $603,497.17 to Walmart, Inc. Edge and Scott pleaded guilty to these charges in September 2018.
Between March 2017 and February 2018, Scott and Edge and others conspired to defraud Walmart, Inc. through use of stolen personal checks, identity fraud, and methods to bypass electronic check authorization measures, resulting in a loss of over $600,000 to Walmart. Scott and Edge used stolen identification cards of real people to perpetuate this fraud in 18 states, using more than 14 different stolen checking accounts. Scott and Edge and other co-conspirators would present a stolen check and false identification at the time of payment, and when the check was declined, the person presenting the check would pretend to call the check authorization company, when in fact, they would call a co-conspirator. The co-conspirator would tell the clerk to accept the check, and the transaction would be complete.
Scott and Edge were arrested by Monona Police on February 25, 2018, after Walmart employees became suspicious of their behavior.
Because Scott and Edge used the identity of another person to execute the fraud, both faced a mandatory prison term of at least two years.
Judge Conley noted that this was a large-scale interstate check fraud scheme involving not only Walmart as a victim, but also those whose identities were used in the fraud.
The charges against Scott and Edge was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Monona and Sun Prairie Police Departments, and police departments throughout the country, with the assistance of Walmart fraud investigators. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura A. Przybylinski Finn, with the assistance of Dane County Assistant District Attorney Paul Humphrey.