Crime

Man gets prison, must repay money from mail, identity theft schemes

David Burney
David Burney

GULFPORT -- A man has been sentenced to prison for stealing mail in a "red flag" scheme and using fake checks in victims' names at the Biloxi Walmart.

David Burney, 47, of Grandbury, Texas, received a 16-month prison term Tuesday that will run concurrent with a pending sentence in a criminal case in Hood County, Texas.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden also ordered Burney to help repay $6,567.69.

About $10,500 in losses have been reported in the scheme.

Burney pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit mail theft and identity theft.

A "red flag" scheme is one in which mail is stolen from mailboxes where the flag has been raised to alert a postal carrier that mail is ready for pickup.

Burney has admitted he stole mail from mailboxes in Harrison County from Oct. 4, 2013, through Nov. 6, 2013. On the last day, he went to the Biloxi Walmart twice with fake checks that used victims' names and bank routing information.

Prosecutors have said the bogus checks also were used at Walmarts in Pass Christian and Crowley, Texas. The checks were used to buy electronics, gift cards, prepaid credit cards, food, clothes and hotel accommodations.

Burney must help Megan Murley, 27, of Marlin, Texas, repay $719.79. Murley has been ordered to help repay a total of $10,513.50.

They were among five people indicted.

Others sentenced are Charles "Cody Blue" Slaton 47, of Granbury, Texas; and Joe Gonzales, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas.

Greg Anderson, 37, awaits trial. He also is accused of stealing checks.

Anderson is free on bond. He is living at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta and must call a federal probation officer in Gulfport every Monday before 9 a.m., records show.

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