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Press Release

Recidivist Florida Fraudster Convicted at Trial for Financial Frauds, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Possession of Stolen Mail

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

MOBILE, AL – A federal jury convicted a Tampa, Florida man this week for conspiring to commit bank fraud, unlawfully possessing fake and stolen identification documents, possessing counterfeit and forged checks, aggravated identity theft, and possessing stolen mail.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Timothy Howard Buchanan, 39, was arrested by deputies with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office during a traffic stop in February 2022. Buchanan was traveling northbound on I-65 with his codefendants, Tyre Dayshawn Crawford and Jaleeshia Deanna Robinson. Deputies initiated the traffic stop because the rental car in which the defendants were traveling had illegal tint applied to its side windows. During the stop, deputies saw drugs in plain view in the car, which led them to search it. Inside the car, deputies found dozens of counterfeit and stolen checks worth more than $300,000. The checks corresponded to victims in multiple states who had their checks stolen from the mail in Alabama and Florida. Deputies also recovered fake and stolen driver’s licenses, a scanner/printer, a check encoder, and a stack of blank check paper. The driver’s licenses had names matching those listed on the counterfeit checks and pictures matching Buchanan’s description.

Deputies and agents with the U.S. Secret Service interviewed Buchanan, and he confessed to his role in the scheme, which involved defrauding banks by attempting to cash counterfeit checks using fake and stolen driver’s licenses. The counterfeit checks that Buchanan possessed contained the personal identifying information of numerous victims, including names, addresses, bank account numbers, and signatures. Buchanan confessed that for his efforts, he would receive 10% of the illegal proceeds of the fraud scheme, which occurred over a period of several months in 2021 and 2022. Buchanan has previously been convicted of felony check fraud and grand theft in Hillsborough County, Florida on several occasions, including as recently as August 2021.

For his aggravated identity theft conviction, Buchanan faces a mandatory term of two years in federal prison, which must run consecutively to any prison term that Buchanan receives for his other crimes. Buchanan faces up to 30 years in federal prison for his bank fraud conspiracy conviction. He will be sentenced by United States District Judge Kristi K. DuBose in December 2022.

Crawford and Robinson each pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Judge DuBose will sentence them in September 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sean P. Costello of the Southern District of Alabama made the announcement.

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. The Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office provided substantial assistance in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Roller and Lydia Lucius are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Updated September 1, 2022