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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Atlanta Man Sentenced to More Than 8 Years in Prison for Role in Counterfeit Check Conspiracy

RICHMOND, Va. – Damion Latoras Foster, 34, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, on charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount $37,308.95.

Foster pleaded guilty on January 7, 2015.  According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial of co-defendant Rasheeda McConnell, Foster was part of a group that stole business checks from commercial mailboxes and used them to make counterfeit checks. The group then recruited people to cash the checks from areas where homeless or unemployed persons would congregate.  The check-cashers received a small sum of cash for cashing counterfeit checks made payable to them. The remaining proceeds went to the recruiters.  Foster was responsible for printing the counterfeit checks that were cashed by the check-cashers.  Foster’s fingerprints were found on a laptop computer, stolen checks, and other items shipped from a Richmond FedEx store on February 6, 2014, the date co-defendants Brandon Jermaine Johnson and Devante Carson were arrested.  Forensic analysis of the laptop computer revealed digital images of counterfeit checks created using stolen business checks as exemplars.  Foster’s fingerprints were also found on counterfeit checks passed in Kansas City, Missouri and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He was arrested at a hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 16, 2014, and found in possession of a computer, scanner, printer, check stock, and business checks apparently stolen from the U.S. Mail. 

Five other co-defendants in this case pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to prison terms as follows:  Jeffrey Keith Barnes, II, 7 ½ months; Devante Carson, 33 months; Christopher Eugene Pope, 15 months; Kevin Lavon Smith, 9 months; Brandon Jermaine Johnson, 96 months.  Another co-defendant, Rasheeda McConnell, was convicted by a jury and sentenced to serve 60 months. 

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; David M. McGinnis, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Douglas F. Mease, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after the sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney.

This case was part of Operation Homeless, a nationwide initiative being conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Attorney’s Offices to aggressively prosecute groups who recruit the homeless and indigent to cash counterfeit checks.   It was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, Chesterfield County Police Department, and Henrico County Police Department as members of the Metro-Richmond Identity Theft Task Force.  Prosecutions for the Task Force are handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles A. Quagliato and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael C. Moore are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:14-cr-28.

Updated April 21, 2015