A Staggering Array of Fraud

Male hands counting dollars, black salary, money laundering, illegal business, stock footage

“Never enough” greed is a major driver for many fraud schemes. But for some crooks, the thrill of the fraud also seems to be at play. This is the case for Cameron Banks (AKA Reggie Stagger, AKA Roy Hamilton) of Mount Pleasant, S.C. In May 2021, Banks was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, and healthcare fraud schemes. (Those were merely his most recent crimes.)

In 2005, under his birth name of Reggie Staggers, this extremely active felon was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to ID fraud crimes against a financial institution, forgery, and writing a fraudulent check. In 2013, he was hired by dentist Cornelius J. Beck. (Spoiler alert: Dr. Beck made a BIG mistake.) It was then that Staggers changed his name to Cameron Banks, possibly to match the good dentist’s initials.

Banks submitted a falsified loan application for a Bentley sedan for more than $212K, with Dr. Beck as a co-applicant (without Beck’s knowledge, of course). He then stole Dr. Beck’s identity to submit falsified loan documents with Beck’s forged signature, purportedly for patients to receive dental care. Instead, (again, of course!) Banks transferred most of the loans into his personal bank account.

Banks began another fraud in 2015 through 2018, submitting requests to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to receive operating authority for several commercial motor vehicle companies. The applications contained (surprise!) false information. While Banks was out on bond for various fraud hijinks, investigators uncovered his Ponzi scheme. Banks convinced at least 32 investors, some of whom laid out their life savings, that they were investing in a commercial trucking business. (Aha! Hence, the fraudulent DOT applications.) Some $287,000 in “investments” went to Banks, who squandered it on car leases, jewelry, and travel.

Meanwhile, Banks was charged with burning property to defraud an insurer and obstructions of justice in 2017, following a suspicious fire in 2016 at a Horry County church he owned; that case is still pending. Also in 2017, he was arrested by the State Department of Revenue after being accused of defrauding a Horry County business of nearly $139,000. Banks also pleaded guilty to filing three tax returns in other people’s names, claiming more than $34,000 in fraudulent state tax refunds, and evading payment of more than $31,000 in state taxes. (Whew! He was one very busy crook!)

While Banks may ultimately face more prison time (let’s all hope so!), there is not much chance of restitution for his many fraud schemes. The thief filed for bankruptcy in 2021, his second since 2017. American Express, the U.S. Department of Education, and the IRS have filed claims in the case; along with other creditors. The claims amount to more than $480,000 in debt. (Good luck to all on getting those funds back.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, “Mount Pleasant Man sentenced to 9 Years in Federal Prison for Series of Fraud Schemes,” dated May 25, 2021.

Charleston, South Carolina –– Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett Dehart announced today that Cameron Banks, a/k/a “Reggie Staggers”, a/k/a “Roy Hamilton,” 36, of Mount Pleasant, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, and health care fraud schemes.

Evidence presented to the Court established that Banks began his schemes in 2013, when he submitted a falsified loan application to obtain a 2014 Bentley Sedan for 212,034.00.  Thereafter, while employed by Dr. Cornelius J. Beck, Banks ran a loan program in which he stole Dr. Beck’s identity and submitted falsified loan applications on behalf of patients to obtain dental work.  To obtain these loans, Banks created fraudulent loan documents using Dr. Beck’s forged signature.  While the funds were supposed to be used for dental procedures, few people received any dental work. Banks transferred most of the funds into his personal bank accounts for his own use.

Additional information comes from a Post and Courier article “Serial fraudster, accused of cheating victims of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” dated June 22, 2019 and updated May 25, 2021.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.