Georgia Men Sentenced for Check Cashing Scheme
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Two Georgia men have been sentenced to prison 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 Superintendent Keith M. Corlett.
Alphonso L. Howard, Jr., age 29, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced today to 48 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and to pay $119,077.54 in restitution. Howard also forfeited $16,660 in cash that he possessed at the time of his arrest by New York State Police. Howard additionally faces a parole violation proceeding in Wisconsin, where he was previously convicted of participating in a prior, similar check cashing scheme.
Javonte J. Johnson, age 23, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced on December 5 to 30 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and to pay $119,077.54 in restitution. Johnson also forfeited $2,391 in cash that he possessed at the time of his arrest by New York State Police. Johnson has additionally agreed to plead guilty to grand larceny charges in Jefferson County Court, New York, arising from a similar check cashing scheme he committed there.
Each man pled guilty in federal court to 1 count of conspiring to commit bank fraud and 1 count of aggravated identity theft.
They admitted that they 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.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the New York State Police-Troop G, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett. Other agencies have assisted in the investigation and prosecution, including the District Attorney’s Offices in Jefferson, Saratoga and Warren Counties, the Glens Falls Police Department, the Burlington Police Department (Vt.), Vermont State Police, and the Stowe Police Department (Vt.).