Capital Heights Man Faces 40+ Years In Prison For Federal Wire Fraud Conspiracy

3/6/2023 by Brian Hamachek

Jerry Phillips, a 25-year-old Capitol Heights man, has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and illegal possession of a machine gun. The scheme to fraudulently obtain money from the COVID-19 CARES Act, Paycheck Protection Program loan applications, economic injury disaster loan applications, and unemployment insurance claims involved Phillips and his brother Jaleel Phillips, as well as at least one other person. Between March 2020 and February 2022, the trio created fictitious aliases, used the personal identifying information of real people, and filed fraudulent loan applications, in order to amass over $1 million in funds. Phillips used part of the money to purchase a 2020 Chevrolet Camaro and had more than 25 fake driver's licenses from multiple states and multiple identification documents from different jurisdictions with the same alias. Law enforcement also recovered four “ghost guns” that Phillips purchased online and he admitted to having illegally modified one into a machine gun. For his involvement, Phillips faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison.

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