Michelle Guy, Tampa, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich to 48 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. The court also ordered her to forfeit over 400 high-end purses, shoes, sunglasses, electronics, and other clothing, which are traceable to proceeds of the offense.
As part of her sentence, the court also entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $2,205,420.82, which constitutes the proceeds of the mail and wire fraud conspiracy. In addition, Michelle Guy was ordered to serve 100 hours of community service and pay $2,280,263.17 in restitution to HSBC Bank. Michelle Guy pleaded guilty on April 4, 2013.
Previously, on May 7, 2013, U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Michelle Guy’s husband (Kevin Guy) to 37 months in prison for his involvement in the same fraud conspiracy. Kevin Guy pleaded guilty on February 12, 2013.
According to court documents, between February 2001 and August 2011, Michelle Guy worked in various administrative capacities for HSBC Mortgage Services, Brandon, Florida. During her employment, HSBC Mortgage Services maintained an employee Recognition Program. Beginning around January 2007, and continuing through November 2011, Michelle Guy conspired with various individuals, including her husband, to defraud HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc. and HSBC Bank by ordering approximately $2,216,776.12 in American Express gift cards, AMEX gift checks, and store gift cards, without authorization. Michelle Guy then directed those gift checks and gift cards to her residence and office. Once the gift cards and gift checks were delivered, Michelle and Kevin Guy deposited the AMEX gift checks into various bank accounts and used the gift cards to go on shopping sprees.
The gift cards and gift checks were used to buy numerous luxury items, including tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, and other high-end stores. On June 24, 2011, Kevin Guy used fraud proceeds as a down payment on a 2011 Mercedes Benz S Class with a sticker price of $96,000.00.
During the execution of two search warrants, law enforcement seized approximately seventy-two AMEX gift checks and more than sixty store gift cards associated with Dillard’s, Olive Garden, Target, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Foot Locker, Walmart, Outback, JC Penney’s, and Darden. Agents also seized over 25 luxury purses, more than 100 pairs of designer shoes, over 100 pairs of jeans, more than 20 pairs of designer sunglasses, four flat screen televisions, two computers, and a high-end refrigerator—all purchased with fraud proceeds.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Simon Gaugush and Anita Cream.