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April 29, 2010

CHECK COUNTERFEITER AND FORMER BANKER SENTENCED IN BANK FRAUD SCHEME

(HOUSTON) - Kevin J. Cook, 25, a former Bank of America employee, and Wyane James Williams, 31, have each been sentenced by United States District Judge Sim Lake for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud the bank of more than $150,000 using counterfeit checks, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Williams was sentenced in federal court yesterday, while Cook was sentenced on April 15, 2010.

According to court documents, while employed at the Bank of America branch located in the 3700 block of Old Spanish Trail, Cook provided co-conspirator Williams with account information and copies of actual checks which Williams used as a template to create authentic looking checks. The counterfeit checks were then distributed to individuals who had been recruited for the purpose of cashing the checks at various Bank of America locations. 

Judge Lake sentenced Cook to 10 months incarceration, with five months to be served in federal prison and five to be served via home confinement and ordered him to make restitution in the amount of $167,759.48 to Bank of America. Williams was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and ordered him jointly responsible for the payment of the restitution to Bank of America.

During the course of the sentencing hearing, Judge Lake heard evidence that while on bond, Williams was still involved in creating and distributing counterfeit checks which the court considered in determining his sentence. Williams was remanded to custody and his bond revoked by Judge Lake on April 14, 2010, based on a sworn affidavit by a Houston Police officer who was involved in the investigation.

Following the sentencing hearing, Williams was immediately remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, while Cook was allowed to remain free on bond pending the issuance of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designation in the near future. 

The United States Secret Service investigated the case which was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James R. Buchanan.

 

 

 

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