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Press Release

Atlanta man pleads guilty to role in mail theft and check counterfeiting conspiracy

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – An Atlanta man pleaded guilty today to his role in a mail theft and counterfeit check cashing conspiracy, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. DeAndre Smith, 22, entered his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit postal theft and making and uttering counterfeit securities.

Smith admitted that on two occasions in November 2015, he traveled, along with a group of other conspirators, from Atlanta to Beckley. Once in Beckley, Smith and the group targeted business establishments and stole checks out of mailboxes. Smith and his co-conspirators then used the information from the stolen checks to make counterfeit checks for cashing at local banks.

Smith faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on August 10, 2016. Smith also agreed to pay almost $17,000 in restitution.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Beckley Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Eric P. Bacaj is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Irene C. Berger.

Updated April 26, 2016

Financial Fraud