Serial Fraudster Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison

 U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow today sentenced Curlee Smittee, Jr., age 47, of Baltimore, to 46 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and for bank fraud, resulting in losses of more than $373,000.  Judge Chasanow also entered an order requiring Smittie to pay restitution of $342,776.89.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to Smittee’s plea agreement, from March 2013 through July 29, 2015, while Smittee was on supervised release from a previous federal fraud conviction, he and his long-time romantic partner, Douglina Rosa Battle, conspired to defraud at 15 banks and credit card companies.

As detailed in his plea agreement, Smittee and Battle submitted fraudulent credit card and loan applications using false employment and earnings information, and false personal information, including name, address and social security numbers. Once the cards and loans were obtained, Smittie and Battle used them primarily for personal spending, but also applied some of the funds to avoid or postpone default on other fraudulent loans or credit cards.  For example, Smittee submitted fraudulent applications to obtain car loans, but after obtaining the loan did not purchase the vehicle, instead depositing the check into a bank account controlled by Smittee and/or Battle.

In all, Smittee and Battle obtained a total of 53 credit cards and personal loans from 15 banks and financial services companies, resulting in losses of more than $373,000.  Eleven of the credit cards were obtained by Smittee while he was on federal pretrial release after pleading guilty to a federal fraud charge, in violation of the requirement that he “not open any new lines of credit without prior approval of Pretrial Services.” 

Douglina Rose Battle, age 43, of Baltimore, also pleaded guilty to the fraud scheme and was sentenced to four months in federal prison, followed by four months of home detention as part of three years of supervised release.  Battle was also ordered to pay restitution of $188,746.81.               

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur praised the FBI for its work in the investigation.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jefferson M. Gray, who prosecuted the case.