CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A federal grand jury has charged a Northern Kentucky man with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in an indictment for attempting to fraudulently obtain $1 million from a victims' fund.
Matthew Ashcraft, also known as Andrew McCormick, 32, of Covington, Ky., was arrested on May 3 by FBI agents after allegedly devising a scheme in attempt to defraud a victims' fund in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.
According to the Department of Justice, In 2003, a lawsuit was settled in the case of John Doe, et. al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. As part of the settlement, a $90 million fund was created for victims of abuse. A minor's fund of $4.5 million was created for those victims who were minors during the claim period. Submissions to the fund were available until 2015.
In 2006, Ashcraft filed a claim seeking compensation for alleged abuse involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington. The claim was approved for an award to Ashcraft in 2007 in the amount of $750,000, according to the indictment.
The indictment states that in 2014 Ashcraft allegedly obtained the birth certificate of another individual, created an email address in that person's name, and submitted a fraudulent claim for compensation in the Catholic Diocese of Covington lawsuit. Using the victim's name, date of birth and social security number, Ashcraft caused the submission of a compensation request for approximately $1 million.
Ashcraft is charged with one count of wire fraud, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a potential additional two years in prison.