Alabama Woman Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

Published 7:05 am Sunday, April 11, 2021

Jackson, Miss. – Tanya Henry Shelby, 40, of Pelham, Alabama, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kristi H. Johnson to bank fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.

From November 2015 through April 2016, Shelby owned a car dealership named Tanya Shelby Auto Sales dba Payless Car Sales, in Hinds County, Mississippi. As part of the scheme to defraud, Shelby opened personal and business accounts at the Mississippi National Guard Federal Credit Union and Citizens National Bank. She further negotiated and executed checks that were drawn on the accounts at Mississippi National Federal Credit Union and Citizens National Bank when she knew that the accounts had insufficient funds. As part of the scheme to defraud, Shelby negotiated and deposited checks with insufficient funds at the financial institutions that resulted in the institutions showing inflated balances on her accounts that caused the checks to be honored rather than be returned unpaid.

Additionally, Shelby opened and used lines of credit at NextGear Capital and Citizens National Bank to secure credit for the same three vehicles at each financial institution, knowing that payments would not be made on any of the lines of credit.

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On December 2, 2020, Shelby was charged with bank fraud in a single count Information.  She will be sentenced by Judge Johnson on July 13, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

The case was investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Chalk.