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Press Release

North Carolina Man Sentenced to Over Six Years in Prison for National Counterfeit Check Scheme

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

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced today that Ahmad Jamaal Becoate, 32, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to 75 months’ imprisonment by United States District Judge Joseph Leeson, sitting in Allentown.  The court also ordered the defendant to pay $443,542 in restitution and entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $132,542.61.  The defendant pleaded guilty in February 2019 to charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and pass counterfeited securities, three counts of wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Becoate and eight others were charged in December 2018 by superseding indictment for involvement in an extensive scheme to defraud Walmart stores across the United States using counterfeit checks and stolen social security numbers.  The conspiracy operated from at least June 2016 to July 2018.  In January 2017, the defendant was charged and convicted in Michigan state court while perpetrating this scheme; he was sentenced to serve 12 months in prison on the state charge.  But within days of being released from prison, the defendant went right back to the same illegal, fraudulent behavior.  Becoate and his co-conspirators presented in total more than $1,000,000 in fraudulent checks between June 2016 and July 2018.

“Becoate has spent much of his adult life in prison and has shown time and again that he has no regard for the law,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain.  “For years, the defendant victimized multiple businesses and individuals and his actions show he refuses to be deterred from fraud.  For these reasons, he will now spend additional significant time in prison – which is exactly where he belongs.”

“Today’s sentencing should serve as a strong deterrent to organized criminal groups considering taking part in similar fraud schemes,” said Special Agent in Charge James Henry of the Secret Service Philadelphia Field Office.  “This case highlights our outstanding relationship with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Social Security Administration.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt criminal groups in the state of Pennsylvania who attempt to defraud our community and its citizens.”

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General, and the United States Postal Investigative Service, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary Crawley.


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Updated July 19, 2019

Financial Fraud