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Press Release

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Admits Role In $80,000 Phony Check Cashing Scheme

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark, New Jersey, man today admitted making counterfeit checks as part of a scheme that caused bank losses of approximately $80,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Laronn Moultrie, 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From October 2010 through May 2012, Moultrie used check-writing software to create hundreds of counterfeit checks, most of which were in amounts of less than $5,000. In furtherance of the scheme, Moultrie recruited numerous individuals to open new accounts at Bank of America, Sovereign Bank (now Banco Santander) and TD Bank by promising a share of the proceeds.

After obtaining the cooperation of an account holder, Moultrie or another conspirator would deposit one of the counterfeit checks into a new account. Before the bank realized that the deposited check was counterfeit, Moultrie would arrange to withdraw the funds within a day or two of the deposit. Moultrie also arranged for some account holders to cash counterfeit checks directly against their accounts. Moultrie admitted obtaining around $80,000 in cash through this scheme.

Moultrie faces a statutory maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl Agnelli; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; investigators at the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Grace H. Park; and investigators at the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, for their roles in the investigation leading to today’s plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Feder of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit.

Defense counsel: Jean Barrett Esq., Montclair, New Jersey

Updated September 8, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-195