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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Check Cashing Scheme

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Alphonso L. Howard, Jr., age 28, of Decatur, Georgia, pled guilty today to creating counterfeit checks and then cashing them at banks in Saratoga and Warren Counties.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett.

Howard pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. 

Howard admitted that he and co-conspirators defrauded financial institutions by intercepting and stealing checks sent through the U.S. Mail; using information from these legitimate checks to create counterfeit checks drawn on the same financial accounts as the stolen, legitimate checks; and then cashing and attempting to cash the counterfeit checks at financial institutions in Saratoga and Warren Counties.

Howard, who has been in custody since September 26, 2018, will be sentenced on August 12, 2019 by Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe.  He faces at least 2 years and up to 30 years in prison, a maximum $1 million fine, and up to 5 years of post-release supervision.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.  Howard has also agreed to forfeit $16,660 in cash he possessed at the time of his arrest, and to entry of a money judgment in the amount of $164,077.70.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and the New York State Police-Troop G, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.  Other agencies have assisted in the investigation and prosecution, including the District Attorney’s Offices in Saratoga and Warren Counties, the Glens Falls Police Department, the Burlington Police Department (Vt.), Vermont State Police, and the Stowe Police Department (Vt.).

Financial Fraud
Updated April 9, 2019