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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Louisville Felon Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Bank Fraud And Illegal Possession Of A Firearm

– Accomplices cashed more than 300 counterfeit checks totaling $192,000
– At least 47 area business affected

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville felon was sentenced to seven years in prison by Senior Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., in U.S. District Court this week, for making more than 300 counterfeit checks totaling approximately $192,000 and recruiting 15 co-conspirators to pass the counterfeit checks at businesses and financial institutions in Jefferson County and the surrounding area announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

“Fraud like this harms financial institutions, businesses, and other innocent victims whose identities are sometimes used to perpetuate the crime,” stated U.S. Attorney David J. Hale. “I am pleased that the partnerships we have forged between federal and local law enforcement have led to this prosecution and substantial sentence for these serious offenses.”

Craig Hutzell, United States Secret Service Acting Special Agent in Charge stated, “The Secret Service and its partners in the Kentucky Electronic Crimes Task Force will vigorously investigate and pursue prosecution of suspects in these cases that affect our community. We will work to recover assets in order to make victims whole and see that potential victims are protected. The successful conclusion of this case is a credit to all our partners in the law enforcement, academic, corporate, and judicial arenas.”

Phillip Walker, age 41, was sentenced Tuesday, October 14, 2014 after pleading guilty to 26 charges in two federal indictments including one count of conspiracy, 19 counts of bank fraud, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Walker admitted that from July 2011 through August 2013, he manufactured approximately 300 counterfeit checks totaling over $192,000. Walker recruited approximately 15 co-conspirators, to pass the checks and would split the proceeds of the checks with the co-conspirators after the checks were successfully negotiated. Walker also caused an unnamed co-defendant to open bank accounts at Your Community Bank and U.S. Bank for the purpose of negotiating counterfeit checks. During the course of the fraud, more than 47 area retail outlets were affected. Walker made the counterfeit checks using a computer and two printers, at his home located on West Kentucky Street in Louisville. In furtherance of the crime, Walker admitted to buying stolen driver’s licenses or state identification cards and would make the counterfeit check payable to that person’s name. Walker would then attempt to recruit people who looked similar to the photo of the person on the stolen driver’s license or state identification card to cash the counterfeit check.

Further, on August 16, 2013, in Jefferson County, during the execution a federal search warrant law enforcement determined that Walker knowingly possessed an American Tactical C45 pistol and eight rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, as well as numerous rounds of assorted ammunition. Walker had previously been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year and consequently was prohibited from possession of a firearm. Walker had multiple previous convictions for, among other things, manufacturing and passing counterfeit checks.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bryan R. Calhoun and Special Assistant Attorney Sungtae Kang and was investigated by the Louisville Metro Police Department, the United States Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Updated December 15, 2014