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Press Release

Group of Check Fraudsters Sentenced in Federal Court

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

MOBILE, AL – Several defendants from Mobile were sentenced for their roles in an organized scheme to commit bank fraud. Two leaders of the scheme were each sentenced to serve eight years in federal prison.

According to court documents, Thomas Charles Bridges, 21, Errol Michael Gilyot, 22, and several codefendants committed widespread bank fraud between November 2021 and April 2023 involving checks stolen from the U.S. mail, which the defendants later altered and deposited at various financial institutions. The fraudulent checks bore the personal identifying information of numerous victim businesses and individuals in the Mobile area and elsewhere. Bridges, Gilyot, and their coconspirators used social media and other means to recruit individuals with accounts at various banks, who provided their account information, debit cards, and other support to further the scheme. Victims of the scheme suffered more than $187,000 in financial losses.

For example, in September and October 2022, bank surveillance video captured Bridges making dozens of fraudulent transactions involving counterfeited checks in the Mobile area. On October 12, 2022, police stopped Bridges and Gilyot in a vehicle after they attempted a fraudulent transaction at a bank branch in Mobile. During that stop, police seized more than $4,700 in cash and debit cards belonging to other people. Later, on October 18, 2022, federal agents executed a search warrant at Bridges’s house in Mobile, seizing a laptop, a printer, several counterfeited checks, and more debit cards belonging to other people.

Agents executed numerous search warrants and obtained voluminous text messages and social media communications between and among Bridges, Gilyot, their codefendants, and others discussing the scheme and recruiting others to take part in it. Additionally, latent fingerprint analysts found Bridges’s and Gilyot’s fingerprints on checks that federal law enforcement obtained from victim banks during the course of the investigation.

At sentencing, United States District Judge Terry F. Moorer reviewed evidence that Bridges and Gilyot continued committing check fraud while they were subject to the court’s release conditions. In addition to their 96-month prison terms, Judge Moorer ordered Bridges and Gilyot to serve five year terms of supervised release upon their release from prison, during which time they will be subject to credit restrictions. The court did not impose a fine, but Judge Moorer ordered Bridges and Gilyot to pay $187,941.36 in victim restitution jointly and severally with their codefendants, and a total of $200 in special assessments. The court also forfeited $5,741 and several electronic devices to the United States.

For their roles in the scheme, the court sentenced Bridges’s and Gilyot’s codefendants as follows: LiJordan Alexander Lucas (60 months); Tranealius Lashun Abrams (57 months); Emerson Trevaun Striveson, Jr. (33 months); Ashir Davonte-Jovonta Hogue (24 months); and Amartinez Carson (one day). The court also ordered each of those defendants to serve supervised release terms and pay restitution and special assessments.
U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, Mobile Police Department, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, and Jackson Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Roller prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated June 14, 2024