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Press Release

Violent Felon Convicted of Fraud and Firearm Offenses

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A North Carolina man was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for conspiring to commit mail and bank fraud and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. 

According to court documents, Lareese Martelles Mallety, 25, of Raeford, conspired with several others to steal mail from local business parks and cash checks obtained through these thefts. Between July 2018 and his arrest in October, Mallety repeatedly traveled to Richmond from his home near Fayetteville, North Carolina to commit these crimes. He and others used pry bars to vandalize secure business mailboxes and thereby gain access to the incoming and outgoing mail of over 70 local businesses. Mallety then recruited homeless individuals found nearby to cash checks obtained through these thefts. Mallety and others used razor blades and typewriters to alter the stolen checks and make them payable to the homeless recruits. In just three months, these recruits cashed more than a dozen checks totaling over $36,000, returning all of the money to Mallety as directed. 

Mallety was apprehended in October 2018 while traveling to Richmond in furtherance of this scheme. A search of his rental car recovered a pry bar, razor blades, a typewriter, three stolen U.S. mail parcels, and 45 checks stolen from local businesses worth nearly $120,000. A stolen handgun was found under Mallety’s seat, which he admitted bringing for protection. A nine-time convicted felon, Mallety carried a handgun throughout this conspiracy, often showing it to homeless recruits when directing them to cash stolen checks. Mallety has two prior convictions for conspiring to commit armed robbery and has previously been convicted of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Peter R. Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin G. Cooke prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:18-cr-160.


Contact: Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated May 17, 2019

Financial Fraud
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods