Man pleads guilty to fraud on fallen Huntsville officer’s memorial fund

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) – A man from Birmingham has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud, including from the memorial fund set up to help the family of fallen Huntsville Police officer Billy Clardy III and fraud on customers of the U.S. Postal service.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Devonte Lemond Hammonds, 27, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of access device fraud and one county of wire fraud.

U.S. Attorneys say in December of 2019, Hammonds plotted to obtain money from the Billy Clardy Memorial Fund.

Billy Clardy was a Huntsville Police officer killed in the line of duty in 2019.  After Officer Clardy’s death, a memorial fund was established to collect contributions and provide aid to his family. 

According to the plea agreement, Hammonds used the identity of another person to open a bank account and transfer funds from the Billy Clardy Memorial Fund bank account to the fictitious account for his own use. 

Hammonds also devised a scheme to defraud customers of the U.S. Postal Service. 

DOJ officials say Hammonds used the U.S. Postal Service website to reroute mail from numerous U.S. Postal Service customers to addresses in Birmingham that he could access, then used the rerouted mail to obtain personal information of those customers. Investigators said Hammonds used that information to pay bills, make purchases, and open new accounts.  

The maximum penalty for access device fraud is ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  The maximum penalty for wire fraud affecting a financial institution is thirty years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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