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Press Release

Inmate Sentenced on Federal Fraud Charges Involving Check-Kiting Scheme from Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis, MO – Pierre Watson, 39, of Jennings Correction Center, was sentenced to 48 months in prison on Thursday by U.S. District Judge John Ross. Watson was sentenced in June to 84 months in prison in front of U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig.  The two sentences which will run consecutive for a total prison sentence of 132 months.

Watson was found guilty by a bench trial in December 2016 on multiple fraud counts involving a conspiracy to commit various fraudulent schemes while he was being detained at the Jennings Correctional Center.  One of the schemes at issue included check-kiting which they term as “piggybacking.” Check-kiting occurs when an individual takes advantage of the small window of time between when checks are deposited into an account, and the financial institution upon which the checks are drawn provides notice to the depositing institution that the check will not be honored. 

The prior conviction resulted from a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Fleissig in November 2016.  Watson was found guilty of a conspiracy to produce counterfeit checks from real and fictitious businesses and to commit bank fraud.  Watson was being detained pending the trial before U.S. District Judge Fleissig when he committed the check-kiting scheme that was ultimately tried by U.S. District Judge Ross.

The cases were investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and St. Louis County Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated November 17, 2017