United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2008 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881
FORT WORTH MAN GETS 4 YEARS FOR FAKE CHECKS
(SHERMAN TX) United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced today that a 26-year-old Fort Worth man has been sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for conspiring to distribute forged checks in the Eastern District of Texas.
According to information presented in court, on April 21, 2007, a State Trooper with the Texas Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle traveling east on IH-20 in Van Zandt County for speeding. Shabazz was the front seat passenger and there were two females in the back seat. After the driver voluntarily consented to a search of the vehicle, the trooper found 21 blank but signed Auto Trader Publishing checks hidden under the rear bench seat. Shabazz then advised the trooper that he was taking the checks to an uncle in Virginia. The trooper seized the checks but released Shabazz and the other passengers. Subsequent investigation and contact with employee officers at Auto Trader Publishing revealed that the checks recovered from the vehicle were counterfeited and the signature thereon had been forged.
On May 22, 2007 during an interview, Shabazz voluntarily advised a United States Secret Service Agent that on the day they were stopped, he and the other passengers in the vehicle, knowingly possessed the 21 counterfeit checks that had been seized from the vehicle. He further advised that he knew that the checks were counterfeit and that he had agreed to transport the two females in the vehicle in order for them to attempt to pass the counterfeit checks during the course of a trip to Virginia.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, Dallas Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety – Highway Patrol. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Noble.
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