Organizers of Counterfeit Check Scheme Sentenced in Federal Court
BIRMINGHAM – Two Birmingham residents were sentenced this week in federal court for their participation in a scheme that caused more than $187,000 in counterfeit checks to be passed at Walmart stores throughout northern Alabama, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Roy Sexton.
U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced ARNETTA "PEACHES" JOHNSON to 37 months in prison on Wednesday, and Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn on Thursday sentenced DARRELLE "BIG BOY" COLEMAN to 46 months in prison. Both sentences will run concurrently with prison sentences that these individuals received in similar cases in federal court in Mississippi.
In their plea agreements, both Johnson and Coleman admitted to taking varying leadership roles in the scheme. Johnson admitted to participating in the passage of $119,000 worth of counterfeit checks.
The scheme was carried out as follows, according to the plea agreements: Coleman manufactured counterfeit payroll checks that appeared to be drawn on various businesses, and which were made out to lower-ranking members of the scheme. Coleman and Johnson would transport the individuals to Walmart stores in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, and Shelby counties so that they could cash the checks and then divide the money with Johnson and Coleman.
The U.S. Secret Service, with assistance from the Alabaster and Hoover police departments, investigated both cases. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama prosecuted the cases.
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