Pittsburg residents face up to 20 year prison sentences; eight others including three more Contra Costa County residents also indicted in conspiracy
OAKLAND – The U.S. Justice Department’s Northern District of California announced, today, Thursday, June 15, 2017 that former Antioch police officer Gary Bostick and his wife, Ana Bostick, pleaded guilty to their respective roles in a scheme to illegally obtain money from the United States announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.
Also indicted in the conspiracy were nine others, including three other residents of Contra Costa County. The indictment, unsealed on Dec. 9, 2015, charges the following additional defendants:
- Hugh Robinson, of Richmond
- Devonnie Davison, of San Pablo
- Brandon Robinson, of El Cerrito
- Ronald Blake, of Fort Worth, TX
- Kyadrian Dennis, of Fort Worth, TX
- William Odom, of Berkeley
- Jamia Lewis, of Fairfield
- Janel McDonald, of Los Angeles
- Everardo Laurian, of Daly City
According to the indictment, from at least August 21, 2013, through April 27, 2015, the defendants conspired with one another to commit offenses against the United States, including theft of government money. The scheme involved obtaining the names of deceased individuals, filing false tax returns in the names of the individuals, obtaining false identifications, and illegally cashing U.S. Treasury checks.
Gary Bostick, 39, and Ana Bostick, 37, both of Pittsburg, pleaded guilty to their respective roles the conspiracy. The Honorable Jeffery S. White, United States District Judge, accepted Ana Bostick’s guilty plea on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, and accepted Gary Bostick’s guilty plea this morning. 6/16/17 UPDATE: Gary Bostick worked for the Antioch Police Department from July 30, 2007 to April 29, 2015 according to Nickie Mastay, Director of Human Resources for the City of Antioch. Ana Bostick is listed as a teacher at Black Diamond High School in the Pittsburg Unified School District. But there is no photo or information about her on the school’s webpage. On Friday morning, June 16, 2017, Nicole Mora, District Communications Public Relations Specialist said she had “learned about this, this morning”, was “looking into it” and waiting to speak with the principal and others before commenting. Please check back later for more details.
Then, in a later email received Friday afternoon, Mora released the following statement from the district: “Ana Bostick is employed by Pittsburg Unified School District as a teacher. Her current employment status for the 2017/2018 school year is a personnel matter and we have no other details to release at this time.”
According to the Bosticks’ plea agreements, between January and April of 2015, the conspiracy involved filing false federal income tax returns in order to obtain fraudulent federal income tax refunds and cashing stolen U.S. Treasury checks at Walmart stores throughout the United States. Specifically, Gary Bostick admitted that in January 2015, he assisted in filing false tax returns with the IRS in the names of deceased individuals. The defendants obtained names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers from websites such as www.rootsweb.ancestry.com and www.ssnvalidator.com. In order to receive payment, the conspirators directed the IRS to mail the fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks to addresses he and his co-conspirators could access. The conspirators cashed the U.S. Treasury checks at various Walmart stores.
Ana Bostick admitted that she aided her co-conspirators by, among other things, cashing two U.S. Treasury checks. Ana Bostick admitted she requested another co-conspirator to send her photos of the two U.S. Treasury checks so that she could use the information on the checks to obtain fake identification that matched the names. After obtaining the fake identifications, Ana Bostick cashed the two checks and kept the corresponding funds.
Gary Bostick’s participation in the scheme included traveling with two co-conspirators to Los Angeles to obtain stolen U.S. Treasury checks and then to Walmart stores in various areas, including Kentucky, to cash the checks. The former police officer acknowledged that he supervised other individuals in the scheme, including managers and runners, who were responsible for cashing the fraudulent or stolen U.S. Treasury checks. In sum, the conspiracy involved $720,530.40 in stolen U.S. Treasury checks.
On November 15, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Gary Bostick, Ana Bostick, and their co-conspirators. For her part in the scheme, Ana Bostick was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; two counts of theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 641; and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. She pleaded guilty to all charges. For his part in the scheme, Gary Bostick was charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; four counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343; and four counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and to the wire fraud charges. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the identity theft charges were dismissed.
Judge White scheduled Gary Bostick’s sentencing for September 19, 2017, and Ana Bostick’s sentencing for November 14, 2017. The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit theft of public money is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for theft of public money is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum sentence for aggravated identity theft is a mandatory minimum of two years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Jose A. Olivera and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein are prosecuting this case with assistance from Jonathan Deville of the Tax Division. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.