Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
GREGORY D. VALENTINE
STATE OF TENNESSEE
Assigned on Briefs Date: November 12, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sumner County No. 2014-CR-298 Dee David Gay, Judge
Gregory D. Valentine, Only, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; L. Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Thomas Dean, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.
CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE
The record reflects that on December 10, 2009, the Sumner County Grand Jury indicted the Petitioner and five co-defendants for twenty counts of identity theft, six counts of criminal simulation, one count of forgery, one count of theft of property valued at $10, 000 or more but less than $60, 000, and one count of money laundering. The Petitioner was also individually indicted for one count of filing a false police report. See State v. Gregory D. Valentine, No. M2012-02487-CCA-R3-CD, 2013 WL 4068607, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 13, 2013), perm. app. denied (Tenn. Dec. 12, 2013).
On October 14, 2010, the Petitioner entered best interest pleas to the offenses as charged. At the plea submission hearing, the State recited the factual basis for the convictions as follows:
The facts stem from events on the 30th of September, 2009[, ] in Hendersonville, Tennessee. At that time, one of the Bank of America branches called Hendersonville Police Department, said they had in the bank at that moment a member of a fraud ring who had perpetrated identity theft. She was in the bank at that time. Ultimately, they reported that she was leaving the bank and fleeing the premises.
Hendersonville Police Department Officers were actually driving by the bank at that time; they saw the woman fleeing the bank. Then they heard the call almost immediately. They turned around; they saw the woman get into a van containing, counting her, six individuals. It was a rental van out of California.
The police began an investigation at that time to determine who she was. She said she was Gail Shapiro, which is the name on the identification that she had presented to the Bank of America. The other defendants, all the others in the van, supported that story that they had just picked her up. They didn't know her.
As the investigation continued, it was shown that these defendants had been together for days and had been traveling across the country. There are images in the Illinois, Chicagoland [sic] area, in Northern Indiana, of members of this group, specifically, Maurice Reed and Yolanda Carter, the two individuals who were taken for Federal prosecution going in multiple banks, perpetrating fraud, typically, in the form of account hijacking. Most of these actions occurred outside of [the] State of Tennessee and outside Sumner County.
What we have is on the 30th, Maurice Reed went into a bank in Hendersonville at about 9:30 in the morning, started an account under the name of Greg Shapiro. He then went to the Madison branch at about 10:30, 10:15 I think it was; Bank of America made a transfer from the real Greg Shapiro's account to the bogus Greg Shapiro account he had just created, transferred $16, 000, withdrew $7, 500. Then [he returned to] the van, and he went back to Hendersonville later that day. They withdrew another $7, 500 from a different branch of Bank of America.
And then around 2:00 in the afternoon, with all six individuals in the van, Yolanda Carter went into the Bank of America, attempted to start an account under the name of Gail Shapiro. The bank got wise, called Hendersonville. I've already explained that part of the story.
Based on that information and the numerous false identifications that were found in the van, were later found in the van, and the many scraps of paper in the van with bank account holder's names, social security numbers, account number[s], date of birth, sometimes mother's maiden name that sort of information that led to the charges before the Court.
Criminal Simulation for the fake [identifications]. Identity Theft for the information on the many pieces of paper regarding the individual account holders. False Report for saying that the defendant who was later determined to be Yolanda Carter was Gail Shapiro. Theft over $10, 000 relating to the $15, 000 that was removed from Greg Shapiro's bank account. Forgery for Maurice Reed signing the name of Gregory Shapiro on the bank documentation to open the false bank account that morning in Hendersonville, and identity theft for his use of ...