Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the statewide Grand Jury indicted Mike Tee (D.O.B. 05/16/73) and he is now in police custody. Tee is alleged to have led a criminal enterprise that staged automobile accidents to file insurance claims and obtain financial payouts. He faces 31 felony counts that range from theft and identity theft, to violating bond and attempting to influence a public servant.
“Coordination between local, state and national law enforcement agencies has again thwarted a criminal operation,” said Suthers. “We thank our partner agencies for their efforts to expose, arrest and now prosecute Mike Tee and his associates.”
In 2011, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation and learned that Tee and his associates, Raphael Nuamah (D.O.B. 10/30/84), Tamika Nuamah (D.O.B. 02/02/81), Frank Hekpah (D.O.B. 06/07/75), Eliasu Bali (06/01/77), and Chanelle Washington (11/29/82) were claiming both vehicle and bodily injury in staged accidents to benefit from insurance payouts. As part of the theft, the enterprise claimed vehicles they owned were stolen when in fact they were not. Insurance companies paid more than $100,000 to settle these claims and the group attempted to steal an additional $7,800.
Concurrently, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office launched an identity-theft investigation of Tee concerning the illegal use and possession of stolen credit card information belonging to more than one hundred cardholders. A search was conducted of Tee’s residence resulting in the seizure of computers and cell phones. Further investigation revealed that Tee allegedly purchased the victim’s credit card information online through an international chat room that sold the information for approximately $2.50 to $5.00 per card. He then used those credit card accounts to purchase a wide variety of auto parts, retail equipment and furniture.
Some of these purchased items were picked up from businesses and other items were shipped to locations throughout the metro area, including an apartment complex parking lot. The Greenwood Village Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office conducted an additional investigation that led to charges being brought against Tee and Nuamah. These charges were later brought to the Attorney General’s case. Credit card and business victims were located across the country and officials determined that some items were sent to Ghana. Losses to companies totaled more than $36,000 with additional attempts totaling almost $20,000.
The Attorney General’s Office worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Greenwood Village Police Department, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Aurora Police Department and the Denver Police Department.
The filing of criminal charges or an indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime. Each defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. These cases will be prosecuted in Arapahoe County District Court by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.