Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Steal Treasury Checks from the Mail and Cash Them Using False ID

Conspirators Cashed Over $100,000 in Stolen Treasury Checks

October 16, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - Maurice Whitfield, a/k/a “David Johnson,” age 34, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, forged endorsement of a Treasury check and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to steal treasury checks from the mail and cash the checks using false identity documents, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his guilty plea, beginning in May, 2006 and continuing until May, 2007, Whitfield was involved with a number of other individuals in a scheme to take United States Treasury checks from the mail and, using fraudulent identification documents, cash those checks at local check cashing establishments by posing as the intended recipient of the check. As his part of the scheme, Whitfield cashed stolen Treasury checks using fake Maryland Drivers Licenses bearing his photograph and the names and addresses of the intended recipients of the stolen Treasury checks. Whitfield was given the stolen Treasury checks by a co-conspirator, received a percentage of the money he obtained by cashing them and gave the rest of the money to the co-conspirator.

While part of the scheme, Whitfield personally cashed five stolen Treasury checks and over the course of the scheme Whitfield and the other members of the scheme cashed over $100,000 in stolen United States Treasury checks.

Whitfield faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud; 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for forging endorsements on treasury checks; and a mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, in addition to any other sentence imposed. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for January 23, 2009 at 9:15 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Secret Service; the Department of Transportation - Office of Inspector General; and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Inspector General for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Tamera L. Fine and Emily Glatfelter, who are prosecuting the case.



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