Birmingham man charged with stealing from fallen Huntsville officer’s memorial fund

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Federal prosecutors say a Birmingham man has been indicted on charges of stealing from the memorial fund for fallen Huntsville Police Officer Billy Clardy III.

Devonte Lemond Hammonds, 27, is charged with access device fraud and three counts of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Clardy was killed during a drug bust in December 2019. A memorial fund was set up for contributions to help out his family. The money was taken from the fund later that month, police said.

“The fact that it occurred it’s like peeling the scab off a wound, if you will,” said Lt. Michael Johnson, Huntsville Police Spokesperson.

Hammonds is accused of setting up a bank account with another person’s identity and transferring money from the memorial fund to that account for his own use. According to court documents Hammonds allegedly stole a total of $1,760.63 over the course of three different withdrawals in December 2019.

“They actually donated to that account in thwarting their criminal enterprise that they were developing with a wire, and taking funds back out. So, they knew all along what the funds were for. So, this is a double whammy if you will with the hurtfulness of the situation,” Johnson explained.

Hammonds also is charged with rerouting mail from victims to addresses he could access in Birmingham, then using the mail to get personal information on the victims that he could use to pay bills, make purchases and open other accounts.

Hammonds faces 10 years in prison for the access device fraud charge and 30 years in prison for each wire fraud charge.

This is not the first time Hammonds had had a brush with the law. A quick public records check pulled up several past charges.

Hammonds pleaded guilty to stealing a persons credit or debit card in 20-18. That same year he pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance that contained heroin.

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