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Press Release

Administrator of Scam Telegram Channel Charged with Fraud

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

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal grand jury indicted a Birmingham-area man for his role operating a scam Telegram channel dedicated to the sale of stolen and fraudulent checks, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector-in-Charge Scott D. Fix, Houston Division. 

An eleven-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Mekhi Diwone Harris, 24, of Birmingham, Alabama with conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud. Harris was arrested on August 9, 2023, pursuant to a complaint issued by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.    

The indictment alleges that between October 2022 and August 2023, Harris participated in a scheme to sell stolen or otherwise fraudulent checks on a Telegram channel called “Work Related Slips.” According to court documents, thousands of stolen or fraudulent checks have been posted to the “Work Related Slips” channel since October of last year. The victims include individuals, municipalities, utilities, churches, nursing homes, schools, non-profit groups, and businesses across the country — including hundreds in the Northern District of Alabama. The total value of the checks posted to the "Work Related Slips" channel is more than $15 million.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit bank fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution is 30 years in prison.  The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in prison.  

The FBI investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. Canter. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection service all provided significant assistance during the course of the investigation.

An indictment contains only charges.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated September 6, 2023