In a recent federal court case, a woman named Lee Turner, also known as “Ashley Turner,” has pleaded guilty to using threats and intimidation to defraud an elderly victim out of more than $1.6 million. Turner admitted to communicating numerous threats and fraudulent statements to the victim, who had limited vision and was in his seventies. These communications involved false personas and false statements from alleged gang members, individuals involved in organized crime, prosecutors, journalists, and corrupt law enforcement officers. As a result of the scam, Turner received over $1.6 million from the victim through dozens of payments. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is set for September 8, 2023.
A woman named Lee Turner, also known as “Ashley Turner,” has recently pled guilty in federal court for using threats and intimidation tactics to defraud an elderly victim out of over $1.6 million. Turner has admitted to using interstate communication facilities to engage in unlawful activities, specifically theft and intimidation. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Guilty Plea and Sentencing
Lee Turner, also known as “Ashley Turner,” pled guilty to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to promote and carry on unlawful activity, namely theft and intimidation. U.S. District Judge Manish S. Shah has set the sentencing date for September 8, 2023.
Statement from Authorities
The guilty plea was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, and Eric Rossi, Chief of the Orland Park Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Green.
Description of the Crime
Lee Turner, also known as “Ashley Turner,” has admitted to using a series of threats and fraudulent statements to deceive and defraud an elderly victim. From 2018 to 2021, Turner communicated numerous threats and false statements to the victim, who was in his seventies and had limited vision. Turner’s communications threatened to expose the victim’s alleged criminal activity, despite having no knowledge of any such activity committed by the victim.
Identity of the Victim
The victim in this case is an elderly individual in his seventies with limited vision. Due to the threats and intimidation tactics used by Lee Turner, the victim suffered significant financial loss amounting to over $1.6 million.
Threats and Intimidation Tactics Used
Threats of Exposure
Lee Turner employed threats of exposing the victim’s alleged criminal activity as a means to manipulate and extort money. These threats were baseless and intended to create fear and anxiety in the victim.
False Personas and Messages
To further deceive the victim, Turner assumed false identities and sent messages impersonating various individuals, including alleged gang members, individuals involved in organized crime, prosecutors, journalists, and corrupt law enforcement officers. These false personas and messages were used to reinforce the false claims made by Turner and intimidate the victim into compliance.
Specific Example of Extortion
One specific example of extortion described in the plea agreement involves Turner, using the alias “Big Joe,” sending messages to the victim, demanding a payment of $30,000 to prevent law enforcement from raiding the victim’s residence and a relative’s residence. The victim, fearing the consequences, paid Turner $30,000 on June 13, 2019. This incident is just one of many similar payments ranging from $5,000 to $66,000 made by the victim to Turner. In total, Turner received $1,611,975 from the victim through this fraudulent scheme.
Extent of Financial Loss
The financial impact on the victim was significant, with a loss exceeding $1.6 million. This loss represents the amount extorted by Lee Turner through threats and intimidation tactics over a period of three years.
Amount of Money Received by the Defendant
Lee Turner received a total of $1,611,975 from the victim as a result of her fraudulent activities. This amount was obtained through a series of payments made by the victim under duress, with the false belief that failure to comply would result in adverse consequences.
Federal Charge and Potential Sentence
Lee Turner has pled guilty to using a facility of interstate commerce to promote and carry on unlawful activity, specifically theft and intimidation. If convicted, Turner could face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Role of Judge Manish S. Shah
U.S. District Judge Manish S. Shah is presiding over this case and has set the sentencing date for September 8, 2023. It is Judge Shah’s responsibility to consider all relevant factors and impose an appropriate sentence within the guidelines provided by the law.
Representation by Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Green
Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Green is representing the government in this case. It is his duty to present the evidence, arguments, and legal analysis necessary to support the charges against Lee Turner and seek a just resolution.
Law Enforcement Efforts
Announcement of Guilty Plea
The guilty plea by Lee Turner was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI, and Eric Rossi, Chief of the Orland Park Police Department. This announcement underscores the commitment of law enforcement agencies to hold individuals accountable for their actions and protect vulnerable members of society.
Involvement of the FBI and Orland Park Police Department
The FBI and the Orland Park Police Department played critical roles in investigating and apprehending Lee Turner. Their collaboration, expertise, and dedication to upholding the law contributed to the successful outcome of this case.
Similar Fraud Schemes in Illinois
There have been reports of similar fraud schemes in Illinois, indicating that this criminal activity is not isolated to this particular case. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are actively working to identify and prosecute individuals engaged in these schemes to protect the public.
Other Criminal Charges Against Bank Board Members
Apart from this case, there have been instances where bank board members faced criminal charges for their involvement in fraudulent activities. These cases serve as a reminder of the importance of accountability and the consequences individuals face when exploiting their positions for personal gain.
Case of Trafficking Machine Gun Conversion Devices
Another recent criminal case involves the trafficking of machine gun conversion devices. This case highlights the diverse range of criminal activities targeted by law enforcement agencies to maintain public safety and prevent illicit activities.
Address of Northern District of Illinois
For individuals seeking additional information or assistance, the Northern District of Illinois can be contacted at the following address:
- Eastern Division: 219 S. Dearborn St., 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604
- Western Division: 327 S. Church Street, Room 3300, Rockford, IL 61101
Phone Numbers for Chicago and Rockford Offices
For inquiries or emergencies, the following phone numbers can be utilized:
- Chicago Office: (312) 353-5300
- Rockford Office: (815) 987-4444
Social Media Links
Follow the Northern District of Illinois on social media platforms to stay updated on news, events, and announcements:
- Twitter: @usao_ndil
- LinkedIn: Northern District of Illinois – U.S. Attorney’s Office
Links to Archives and Policies
For access to archived press releases, guidance documents, forms, publications, and other resources, visit the official website of the Northern District of Illinois:
Budget and Performance Information
Information regarding the budget and performance of the Northern District of Illinois can be obtained through the official channels. Interested parties can refer to the relevant resources provided by the district.
FOIA and Accessibility
The Northern District of Illinois is committed to transparency and accessibility. Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and accessibility policies can be accessed through established procedures and guidelines.
Legal Policies and Privacy
For information regarding legal policies, privacy practices, and related matters, refer to the official website of the Northern District of Illinois. Detailed explanations of applicable policies and privacy practices can be found there.