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Press Release

Woodbridge man pleads guilty to fraudulent check scheme

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Woodbridge man pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

According to court documents, from August 2021 to July 2022, Jason Banks, 27, participated in a scheme to defraud banks by cashing or depositing fraudulent checks. At least one conspirator had obtained a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) arrow key, used by mail carriers to unlock USPS collection boxes, apartment panels, or parcel lockers. The conspirators used the key to steal mail, much of which included checks.

The conspirators created fraudulent checks, either by altering stolen checks or using information from stolen checks to create new fraudulent checks. Banks recruited accountholders who would share their bank account, PIN, and personally identifying information with him, which he would then provide to another conspirator. That conspirator supplied at least one fraudulent paper check to Banks or the other accountholders, who would deposit the fraudulent checks into their accounts. At other times, a conspirator would electronically deposit the fraudulent checks into the accounts of one of the other accountholders.

After the fraud proceeds were deposited, Banks coordinated the transfer of the funds to himself, from which he generally took a percentage and forwarded the rest of the funds to other conspirators.

The overall bank fraud conspiracy caused an actual loss of at least $501,096.15. Banks recruited at least four people to provide their bank account and personally identifying information to the conspirators and shared the personal identifying information of at least 25 individuals, some of whom were victims of identity theft.

Banks is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 28 and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; David J. Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal and Cyber Division; Kevin Davis, Fairfax County Chief of Police; Ajay Lall, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Troy W. Springer, Special Agent in Charge of the National Capital Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Shartar and Kathleen Robeson are prosecuting 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. 1:24-cr-91.


Press Officer

Updated May 30, 2024

Financial Fraud