News and Press Releases

Joseph McCoy Sentenced to 95 Months in Prison for Treasury Check Fraud & Identity Theft

November 7, 2012

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Joseph McCoy, age 48, of Ashburn, Turner County, Georgia, was sentenced to federal prison on Wednesday, November 7, by United States District Court Judge, W. Louis Sands, in Albany, Georgia.

McCoy was sentenced to 95 months in the Bureau of Prisons, ordered to pay total restitution in the amount of $315,902 payable to the two local convenience stores that cashed the Treasury checks bearing forged endorsements. Following service of his sentence he will be on 3 years of supervised release. McCoy pled guilty to counts 2 & 3 of a superseding indictment on August 12, 2012. Count 2 charged McCoy with embezzlement of government property, in particular, U.S. Treasury checks. Count 3 charged "aggravated identity theft," in connection with count 2, that is using the personal identify data of a person, including the true payee's signature, without the person's permission.

As set forth in his plea agreement McCoy aided and abetted two other defendants in obtaining and cashing Treasury checks obtained by fraud. Co-defendant Trina Sutton cashed approximately $350,000 in checks at the MNS Convenience Store in Albany, Georgia, and co-defendant Tawanda Chandler cashed approximately $400,000 at Joe's Check Cashing, in Douglas, Georgia. Sutton and Chandler are in custody serving their sentence. The defendants obtained the Treasury checks in question largely by filing false tax returns using an on-line service such as Turbo-Tax or by acting as check cashers for third parties who had obtained the Treasury checks by fraud.

"When people defraud the Treasury, they victimize the public. My office will continue to pursue individuals who steal from the people of the United States," said United States Attorney Michael Moore.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service and Assistant United States Attorney Jim Crane handled the prosecution.

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