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Press Release

St. Louis County man admits $281,000 worth of frauds

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

ST. LOUIS – A man from St. Louis County on Tuesday admitted using stolen identities in a series of frauds that cost victims $281,669.

From October 2019 through November 2021, Michael Worsham, 33, bought vehicles using stolen identities, took out bank loans in the names of others and stole checks and then altered and cashed them.

Worsham admitted using stolen or false identification to buy a 2015 Mustang, a black Chevy Avalanche and a 2021 Suzuki motorcycle. He also admitted paying a friend to use a stolen identity to buy a 2021 Honda motorcycle. He unsuccessfully tried to buy a $17,841 Ford Mustang GT.

Worsham also took out a series of loans, ranging from $1,300 that he obtained from Ace Cash Express to $55,000 that he spent from one bank account, his plea agreement says.

Worsham altered checks and then deposited them. In two days during July of 2021, he deposited four checks and reaped $50,230 in cash. He opened an account in the name of a business and deposited two checks totaling $35,210.

On June 11, 2021, Worsham told O’Fallon, Missouri police officers that he obtained stolen identities using information that he had purchased online and then applied for loans online, estimating that he’d committed $200,000 in fraudulent activity, his plea agreement says. Worsham said he committed fraud to buy drugs and gamble.

Worsham pleaded guilty Tuesday in front of U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry to two counts of wire fraud, seven counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Each wire fraud charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The bank fraud charges each carry a penalty of up to 30 years and a $1 million fine and the identity theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of at least two years consecutive to any other sentence.

Worsham is scheduled to be sentenced in November. He will also be ordered to forfeit money and property equal to the losses due to his schemes.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case, aided by a number of police departments including those in Maryland Heights, Arnold, O’Fallon, St. Louis County and St. Louis. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Dowd III is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 23, 2022

Topic
Financial Fraud