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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Beckley Man Sentenced for Passing Counterfeit Checks

Defendant had role in counterfeit check cashing scheme

BECKLEY, W.Va. –  A Beckley, West Virginia man was sentenced today for his role in a mail theft and counterfeit check cashing scheme, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Shawn Meadows, age 30, was sentenced to eight months of federal incarceration.  He was also ordered to pay more than $7106 in restitution to a bank who was the victim of the check cashing scheme. Meadows previously pled guilty on April 11, 2018 to the felony offense of uttering a counterfeit check. United States Attorney Mike Stuart praised the Beckley Police Department and the United States Postal Inspection Service for catching the three defendants while the scheme was ongoing. 

“Caught in the act,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Thanks to the quick work of the Beckley Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, this fraudulent scheme was brought to a quick end. It is gratifying to know that as a result of the prosecution, restitution will be paid to the victim bank.”

On November 30, 2015, Meadows, along with co-defendants Savion Thomas and Deandre Smith, participated in a scheme where Meadows was given a counterfeit check by Thomas and Smith, both of Atlanta, Georgia.  Smith and Thomas had rented a car in Atlanta, drove to the Beckley area and stolen checks from mailboxes in the Beckley, West Virginia area.  The stolen checks were then cleaned in such a way as to remove identifying information, counterfeited, and copied using a computer Smith and Thomas had brought with them.  Meadows was recruited to help cash the counterfeit checks at a local bank.  The copied counterfeit checks were cashed on the same day at three separate branches of the same bank in Beckley, West Virginia.  Two checks were successfully cashed.  The Beckley Police Department responded to a tip from bank employees and stopped the three men after the third attempt to cash the checks.  All three men gave statements admitting to their role in the mail theft and check cashing scheme.

Deandre Smith was sentenced for his role in the scheme on August 10, 2016, receiving a year of incarceration and a three year term of supervised release.  Savion Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22, 2018.

Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes and former Assistant United States Attorney Eric Bacaj handled the prosecutions.  Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the sentencing hearing.

 

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Updated August 1, 2018