FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 09, 2010
KANSAS CITY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO COUNTERFEIT CHECKS, PHONY TAX RETURNS
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Christopher E. Summers, 32, Kansas City, Kan., has pleaded guilty to federal check counterfeiting and tax charges, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.
Summers pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of possessing a counterfeit security, and one count of conspiracy to defraud the government. In his plea, Summers admitted that from May 2007 through May 2009 he prepared forged payroll checks in the names of co-conspirators who cashed the counterfeit checks at Walmarts in the Kansas City metro area. At Walmart, the conspirators entered Social Security numbers on a keypad at the register. The information was transmitted electronically to Walmart’s computer server in Bentonville, Ark.
During the investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service used a confidential informant to obtain forged checks from Summers. Investigators also determined that in January 2008 Summers launched a separate scheme in which he prepared false W-2 tax forms for conspirators who were not employed. The forms falsely stated the conspirators were working and were entitled to a tax return. Summers had the conspirators go to an H&R Block tax preparer to electronically file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service and to obtain an instant loan in anticipation of a tax refund.
Sentencing is set for May 4, 2010. The government is recommending a sentence of 51 months in federal prison. Welch commended the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General, the Overland Park Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.