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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Shreveport Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Fraudulent Check Cashing Scheme Resulting in Theft of Nearly $400,000

SHREVEPORT, La. – U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Carlos A. Spann, 42, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced October 29, 2019, to 20 years in federal prison for his role in a fraudulent check-cashing scheme resulting in the theft of nearly $400,000.  Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. also ordered Spann to pay $399,723.04 in restitution to Tower Loan and Walmart Global Investigations.  In addition to his term of imprisonment, Judge Hicks sentenced Spann to five years of supervised release following his release.

At the conclusion of a four-day trial, Carlos A. Spann was found guilty by a federal jury on February 7, 2019, of one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud.  Evidence admitted at trial showed that Carlos A. Spann, Phelix K. Williams, 29, Anthony E. Johnson, 24, both of Shreveport, and others, conspired to cash counterfeit checks using fraudulent identities at banks and retail establishments throughout Louisiana.  Spann provided his co-conspirators with altered overlays for identification cards along with counterfeit checks drawn on Tower Loan’s bank account, and counterfeit checks drawn on a United States Postal Service bank account. Each of them were captured by surveillance video cameras using altered identification cards to cash the counterfeit checks. During the conspiracy, they negotiated more than 100 counterfeit checks. 

Spann has a two-decade long history of committing white collar fraud crimes, including nine prior convictions of offenses such as counterfeiting and credit card fraud.  At sentencing, additional evidence was presented of Spann’s attempts to obstruct justice by procuring affidavits containing false statements, tampering with lawfully issued subpoenas, and discussing trial testimony with prospective witnesses.      

“This offender made a career out of defrauding the people and businesses of Louisiana out of their hard-earned money,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph.  “The 20-year sentence handed down in this case should send a clear message to others that might consider engaging in this type of criminal activity.  I want to thank the prosecutors from my office, the U.S. Secret Service, the Shreveport Police Department, and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office for their hard work in uncovering this fraud and bringing this matter to justice.”

“This case exemplifies how important partnerships between Federal and local law enforcement successfully bring criminals like Spann, Williams and Johnson to justice,” said Tara McLeese, Resident Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Baton Rouge Office. “Special thanks to the talented prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Louisiana whose tireless efforts have ensured the public is now protected from financial fraud perpetrated by these individuals.” 

Williams pleaded guilty on February 4, 2019, the morning his trial was scheduled to begin, to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, 13 counts of bank fraud and two counts of wire fraud.  Judge Hicks sentenced Williams on June 10, 2019, to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised, and also ordered him to pay $399,723.04 in restitution.  Johnson pleaded guilty on January 17, 2019, to one count of conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud.  Johnson’s sentencing date of May 1, 2019 was upset and has yet to be rescheduled.

The U.S. Secret Service, Shreveport Police Department, and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany E. Fields and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated October 30, 2019