FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2014
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden man was sentenced today to 100 months in prison for his role in a scheme in which he and others stole business checks from the mail in New Jersey and Connecticut, altered them and cashed them through a series of conspirators, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Michael A. Ingalls, Jr., 36, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of possession of stolen mail. Judge Simandle imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From September 2010 through January 2012, Ingalls and others stole mail containing checks from businesses in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. Ingalls and his conspirators – including Ibn Muhammad, 35, of Camden – would recruit conspirators to cash the stolen checks, altering the name of the payee on the check to match the name of the recruit. Ingalls, Muhammad and the check casher would then travel to a bank to cash the check.
Ingalls, Muhammad and their conspirators cashed or attempted to cash more than 100 stolen and altered business checks worth more than $600,000. The scheme resulted in a total loss of more than $300,000 to the victim banks.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Simandle sentenced Ingalls to serve five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $361,955.04 in restitution.
Muhammad pleaded guilty to bank fraud and theft of mail and was sentenced to 135 months in prison on July 15, 2013. One of Ingalls’ and Muhammad’s conspirators, Andrew Fortune, 62, of Camden, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Dec. 11, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates in Newark, and troopers from the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew T. Smith and Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
14-029Defense counsel: Dennis Wixted Esq., Camden