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Press Release

St. Louis County Woman Sentenced to a Year in Prison for Check Scheme that Used Bank Information from Stolen Mail

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

ST. LOUIS – A woman from Hillsdale, in St. Louis County, Missouri was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for engaging in a scheme to deposit tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of counterfeit checks created with information from stolen U.S. mail.

U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig also ordered Tyra G. Robinson, 21, of Hillsdale, to repay victims $10,859. Robinson will be on supervised release for five years after her release from prison. 

In her guilty plea in November to four felony counts of bank fraud, Robinson admitted depositing or attempting to deposit counterfeit checks totaling more than $40,000. She received at least $22,000 via the scheme from at least ten financial institutions. She also admitted possessing counterfeit checks belonging to at least ten victims. 

Robinson would deposit counterfeit checks typically ranging from $4,0000 to $10,000 into bank accounts. The information Robinson used on the counterfeit checks came from checks stolen from the U.S. mail. She then withdrew the proceeds before the banks realized the checks were bogus. Robinson recruited bank account holders on Facebook and Instagram with promises of kickbacks if they let Robinson deposit the checks into their accounts. Co-conspirators also recruited account holders for Robinson. 

On March 10, 2022, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers attempted to pull over a vehicle that Robinson was driving because it was wanted in connection with a burglary. Robinson refused to pull over and fled at a high rate of speed. While trying to get on the highway, she struck another vehicle, causing significant damage to that vehicle. After the crash, officers found a purse with about $11,527 in cash, a gun and multiple bank cards and checks in names other than Robinson's inside her vehicle. Police turned over the evidence to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service who conducted a financial investigation of Robinson’s activity.

“Through her mail theft scheme, the defendant was able to steal thousands of dollars from hard-working postal customers, some of whom continue to deal with the financial repercussions caused by her actions,” said Ruth M. Mendonça, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Chicago Division.  “The swift joint investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department put an end to her illegal activity.  Our agencies will continue to work together to bring justice to victimized citizens of St. Louis.”   

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Clow is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 20, 2023

Financial Fraud