Georgia Men Indicted for Check Cashing Scheme Targeting Banks
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Alphonso L. Howard, Jr., age 28, and Javonte J. Johnson, age 22, both of Decatur, Georgia, were indicted yesterday for 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.
Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
According to the indictment, between July 1, 2018 and September 26, 2018, the defendants and others 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.
The New York State Police arrested Howard and Johnson on September 26, 2018, in Queensbury, New York. Howard and Johnson have been in custody since their arrest, and will be arraigned on the federal charges at a later date.
If convicted, each defendant faces at least 2 years and up to 30 years in prison, a maximum $1 million fine, and 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. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of approximately $19,000 in cash possessed by the defendants at the time of their arrest, as well as 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.).
Johnson has also been indicted on grand larceny and other charges in Jefferson County, New York, in a case brought by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and investigated by the Watertown Police Department. Johnson is presumed innocent of these charges as well.