Counterfeit Check Maker Pleads Guilty in Fraud Scheme Allegedly Resulting in over $1 Million in Losses
Agrees to Forfeit His Residence and Another Property in Upper Marlboro
Greenbelt, Maryland - George Valentine, age 39, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, and to manufacturing and possessing counterfeit travelers and gift checks, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to his plea agreement, from 2003 to 2006 Valentine manufactured counterfeit American Express travelers checks and American Express gift checks, which he sold to co-conspirators for cash. He also manufactured false identification documents, including fake driver’s licenses, bearing the names used on the counterfeit checks he produced.
In February 2006, Valentine shipped 100 counterfeit $100 gift checks to a co-conspirator in North Carolina.
On March 23, 2006 Valentine sold 100 counterfeit $100 gift checks to a co-conspirator in the District of Columbia and was arrested. Seized from his residence were two printers which Secret Service investigators had determined were the source for the manufacture of previously discovered counterfeit checks; another printer with counterfeit identification document images on the ribbon, along with white card stock bearing Maryland MVA holograms; 243 un-cut counterfeit American Express gift checks; three counterfeit AAA Visa travelers checks; one bag containing counterfeit American Express gift check cuttings; counterfeit American Express holograms; gloves; and numerous counterfeit identification documents and manufacturing supplies.
The government contends that over 200 victim businesses accepted the counterfeit checks, resulting in losses to American Express of over $1 million. As part of his plea agreement, Valentine has agreed to forfeit his residence and another property in Upper Marlboro.
Valentine faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for mail fraud; and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for manufacturing and possessing the counterfeit checks. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for July 21, 2008 at 2:00 p.m.
Defendant Daniel Jeron Harrison, age 22, of Bowie, Maryland pleaded guilty to his participation in this scheme and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for possession of counterfeit securities at his sentencing on April 10, 2008.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Chan Park, who is prosecuting the case.