Columbia woman pleas guilty, joins four others in counterfeit scheme

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A Columbia woman pled guilty on Thursday to participating in a counterfeit paycheck ring, in which four others have already been convicted.

Shawnetta Shawntae Wise, 23,  will join 30-year-old Cisco Vandelly Knightner, 21-year-old Ellis Darnell Hand, 40-year-old Richard Corbin, and 22-year-old Brandon George Henry Wise in a scheme that involved recruiting homeless individuals to cash fake checks.

The defendants took personal information collected from the individuals and placed the information on counterfeit checks. The defendants then drove the individuals to various businesses throughout the area, where they cashed the checks.

Area merchants lost more than $47,000 in the scheme. The crimes took place over a five-month period in 2008

Knightner, Hand, Corbin and Wise will all be sentenced at a later date, according to a release from acting U.S. attorney Kevin McDonald.

Wise and her co-defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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