On Tuesday, it was announced that 47-year-old Shonn Northam from Briggsville, Wisconsin had pleaded guilty to mail fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. The defendant now faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each of the mail fraud and money laundering charges. He faces a mandatory consecutive of two years on the aggravated identity theft charges. The defendant was indicted on August 2, 2017.
According to the indictment, Northam worked as a customer service representative at Spectrum Brands in Middleton, Wisconsin from February of 2013 to November 14, 2014. The defendant used his position to embezzle money by submitting false warranty claims. Spectrum ultimately issued checks based on those fake claims. Northam falsely claimed that the check payees were warranty claim customers with defective products that caused damages and/or injury.
A portion of the proceeds was used to fund U.S. Proud, which is an organization Northam started in 2013. The organization hosted beauty pageants for the LGBT community. In some cases, the defendant used the identities and addresses of friends, family members and US Proud beauty pageant participants to file false warranty claims and generate checks for himself. He forged signatures and deposited the checks into bank accounts under his control.
Northam never had permission from these individuals to use their information. Ultimately, Northam admitted to creating false warranty claims to embezzle money from Spectrum. In total, the defendant took $280,644 from the company and laundered the funds in hopes of concealing the crime. Northam is now scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2018. Additional details can be found here.