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Press Release

Augusta Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Bank Fraud

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

Contact:  Jim Moore
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Bangor, Maine:  United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Jacob Choate, 27, of Augusta, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for defrauding over a dozen banks and businesses by seeking to negotiate over $28,000 worth of washed, altered and counterfeit checks. Choate was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims.
Court records reveal that the investigation arose out of complaints made in July and August 2014 about checks stolen from the mail and the cashing of stolen checks. The investigation revealed that Choate presented numerous counterfeit and altered checks to banks in central and southern Maine. Video surveillance images from the banks depicted Choate cashing or attempting to cash the checks. 

Judge Woodcock noted that victims included eight banks, 16 payors and 11 payees. He stated that Choate’s role as a “check casher” in the bank fraud warranted a two-and-a-half year prison sentence because of his “unremitting degree of criminality since the age of 17 years.”
The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service as well as Augusta, Portland, Saco and Scarborough Police Departments.

Updated February 12, 2016

Financial Fraud