Tulare County Resident Sentenced to Prison for Counterfeit Treasury Check Conspiracy and Identity Theft
FRESNO, Calif. — Jeffrey Michalk, 44, of Fresno, was sentenced today to three years and nine months in prison for conspiracy, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between June 2020 and January 2022, Michalk worked with Fresno residents Steve Gomez, 41, and Michael Dugan, 49, to cash counterfeit U.S. Treasury checks throughout the Central Valley. The criminal conduct included approximately 264 fraudulent checks, and a loss amount of over $500,000. The trail of counterfeit checks spanned different counties and involved checks forged to be made payable to the defendants and others.
“Today’s sentence is a reminder that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is committed to aggressively investigating those who commit financial crimes impacting the tax administration and victimizing the citizens of our communities,” stated Special Agent in Charge Rod Ammari. “This case demonstrates the investigative capabilities and dedication of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration special agents. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is committed to protecting the financial infrastructure of the United States by pursuing individuals that abuse the tax administration to further their identity theft schemes.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry Z. Carbajal III is prosecuting the case.
Gomez and Dugan have also pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 29, 2024, and Feb. 26, 2024, respectively. They face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy charge, a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the theft of money charge, and a mandatory minimum consecutive two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charges.