Modesto Man Pleads Guilty In Fraudulent Check-Cashing Scheme
FRESNO, Calif. — Steven Hamman, 52, of Modesto, pleaded guilty today to three counts of conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a fraudulent check-cashing scheme, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to his plea agreement, between January 2009 and January 2011, Hamman conspired with others to cash stolen or fraudulently procured checks at electronic check-cashing kiosks (known as “Vcom,” or “virtual commerce” machines). Hamman used fraudulently created Vcom accounts to attempt to cash the checks, sometimes using checks that other co-conspirators previously had attempted and failed to cash. On several occasions, Hamman attempted to cash the same check more than once. During the course of the conspiracy, Hamman’s check-cashing scheme caused or threatened to cause a loss of more than $47,000 to more than 50 victims, including financial institutions and others.
This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Baker is prosecuting the case.
Hamman is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on April 28, 2014. Hamman faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.