Man pleads guilty to racketeering charges

Published 5:57 pm Monday, November 28, 2016

By Melanie Ruberti

Man pleads guilty to racketeering charges

LaGRANGE — One man accused of swindling a bank out of money in an elaborate racketeering scheme pleaded guilty Monday morning in a Troup County Superior Courtroom.

Montego Alchecko Sherrell was charged with two counts of violation of racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act, according to the indictment. He pleaded guilty to both counts, said Troup County Assistant District Attorney Jim Powers.

Sherrell is one of 12 people accused of committing the crime. He was the only defendant who pleaded guilty on Monday.

Sherrell reportedly was part of a scheme that unlawfully acquired and maintained money from Charterbank from March 1 to May 31 of this year, the indictment stated.

According to the document, Sherrell and his 11 co-defendants exploited a glitch in the Charterbank mobile banking app. The glitch allowed the group to immediately withdraw money deposited into a Charterbank account that was written on a bad check.

The group also deposited checks through the mobile banking app from closed accounts into newly established Charterbank accounts, the indictment stated. This allowed Sherrell and his co-defendants to immediately withdraw money through ATM transactions and through purchases at various stores, the document read.

Sherell allegedly deposited a check at the Charterbank located in West Point on May 17, 2016, the indictment stated. That same day Sherrell and another co-defendant, David Williams, drove to an ATM machine and withdrew money from the account, the state said. Sherell then handed Williams the cash, according to the document.

Bank officials later learned the check reportedly came from a closed Sun Trust account and was returned.

Sherrell was charged with two counts of violation of racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act. Count one is for committing at least two acts which constitute racketeering activity, such as opening an account and making a withdrawal, explained Powers. Count two of the indictment is for participation in the enterprise (scheme) as a whole, he added.

Sherrell was sentenced by presiding Superior Court Judge Travis Sakrison to eight years probation, 100 hours of community service and must testify truthfully against the co-defendants in the case.

The other people named in the indictment include: Enrick Emanuel Fears, LilTony Marquete Lovelace, Mose Hutchinson Jr., Jazmaine Janae Martin, Kimberly L. Bennett, Linda Ann Miller, Deon D. Brooks, David Roderick Williams, Jimmy Lewis Wilson Jr., Eric Brewer and Joshual Jamaine Williams.

The cases against those 11 co-defendants were continued until February 2017.