Rapper guilty of defrauding banks, including two in Montrose, Cortez
Rap lyrics often glorify criminal behavior without consequences. But for one Front Range-based rapper, the prospect of a long prison sentence after being convicted on charges of racketeering and bank fraud is very real.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday announced an Adams County jury returned guilty verdicts on six individuals, including the ringleader of the criminal enterprise, a marginally known rapper known as Dame Fame.
Thirty-eight-year-old Stacy Damon Harris of Brighton—also known as Dame Fame—was found to be the organizer of a complex, multi-state credit card and bank fraud operation that stole tens of thousands of dollars from several banks across the state, including in Montrose and Cortez.
According to an indictment, Harris led an effort to create fraudulent credit cards, which included phony phone numbers. Those cards were then used to purchase merchandise, rent at least one automobile and obtain cash advances from bank branches.
Prosecutors proved that Harris drove another member of the group to Dolores State Bank in Cortez on Sept. 15, 2009, and she attempted to get a cash advance from the fraudulent credit card. When a bank employee called the phone number on the back of the card, the call was answered on the other end by another member of the enterprise, who instructed the bank to complete the transaction.
Members of the group did the same thing a day later at Montrose Bank in Montrose.
Other charges related to the scheme centered on illegal money transfers, using a card to get thousands of dollars in clothes from a retail store renting a car and not returning it.
The value of their crimes in Colorado was about $30,000.
The other people found guilty in the scheme are Tangelar Annette Houston, 36; Dumarco Marty, 23; Salina Patrice Lactaoen, 24; Darnell Plazmarell Meal, 24; and Tenisha Nicole Kuykendall, 35.
Those five essentially pleaded out, according to the Attorney General’s Office, so Harris is the only member of the group to face sentencing on Nov. 26. Two charges under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act carry a sentence range of eight to 24 years each, and Harris’ other felony convictions have sentencing ranges between two and six years. The maximum total sentence he could face is 60 years.
Harris has connections through his former management company, Fame Management, to a number of rap artists in the Oakland, Calif., area—some of whom have made headlines for run-ins with the law.
As a rapper, Dame Fame’s library seems fairly limited, based on a cursory Internet search. He has no albums listed for sale on iTunes, but he appears as a guest artist on a number of tracks by other rappers.
He does have a Twitter account—@DAMEFAMEOAKLAND—and on Sept. 20, the date of his conviction, he tweeted, “Today was a bad day, I was convicted on all charges, I have a bail hearing to see if I can buy time before sentencing Oct 4th.”