Bessemer Man Gets Nearly Seven Years in Prison for Counterfeit Check Scheme
BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Bessemer man to nearly seven years in prison for a counterfeit check scheme that cost five banks at least $79,000, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, U.S. Postal Inspector/Domicile Coordinator Frank Dyer and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Roy Sexton.
Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn sentenced LLOYD DEMORAL NOBLE JR. to six years and nine months in prison and ordered him to pay $79,158 in restitution. He also must serve five years of supervised release after completing his prison term.
Noble, 40, pleaded guilty in October to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges. Between Summer 2009 and Spring 2010, Noble ran a counterfeit check and bank fraud scheme in which he created checks of various businesses or agencies and then used “runners” he recruited to cash the counterfeit checks at four Birmingham banks and one bank in Troy, according to his plea agreement.
“Mr. Noble’s counterfeiting and identity theft scheme did serious harm to the banks that were tricked into cashing his phony checks,” Vance said. “Our banks and their customers must be protected from this kind of theft and deception. Today’s sentence is proof that such schemes will be uncovered and their perpetrators punished,” she said.
“Identity fraud schemes of this kind always hurt businesses and the families they serve,” Dyer said. “As in the majority of stolen identities and counterfeit checks, most of the information used by Lloyd Noble was not stolen from U.S. Mail. However, because of the occasions when Mr. Noble acquired account information from U.S. Mail, postal inspectors focused their attention on him and are pleased today in seeing justice delivered,” Dyer said.
According to court records, Noble conducted his scheme as follows:
He obtained copies of donation checks written to the American Heart Association and other business checks drawn on various companies or entities, including a local high school and a voter registration organization. Noble used a computer software program to produce counterfeit checks bearing the business and bank logos and signatures of authorized signors at the various companies or agencies. Noble also stole or manufactured fake identification documents, including temporary driver’s licenses for his associates, or runners, who took the counterfeit checks to banks to cash.
When the runners cashed the counterfeit checks, they typically returned a portion of the money to Noble and kept the remainder for themselves.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Homewood, Bessemer, Hoover, Tarrant and Troy police departments, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Offices in Birmingham and Bessemer.
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