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Justice News

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

3 Floridians Charged in Counterfeit Bank Check Scheme

PITTSBURGH, PA - Three Florida residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on charges of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, possessing and uttering counterfeit securities, and possession of stolen mail, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The seven-count indictment, returned on October 9, named Calar Braxton aka Vivian Hugo, aka Taylor Crimson, 44, of Orlando, Florida: Brian Omar Campbell aka Vincent Hugo, aka Troy Crimson, 28 of Orlando, Florida; and Cheryl Brown aka Loraine Johnson, 48, of Riverview, Florida.

According to information presented to the court, Braxton, Campbell, and Brown conspired to purchase merchandise from area retailers by using counterfeit bank checks. After checking into a local hotel on October 5, 2017, the defendants stole mail addressed to individuals living in the area and opened it. If the defendants found a check, they recorded its account and routing numbers and used that information to produce counterfeit bank checks. Afterwards, they used the counterfeit checks on October 5-6, 2017, to purchase merchandise from retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s Department Store. The scheme ended when members of the North Fayette Township Police Department obtained a warrant for the hotel and searched it. During the search, the police recovered a laser printer, stolen mail, and blank stock used for printing checks.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 50 years in prison, a fine of $2,000,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Leo Ivory is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the North Fayette Township Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Financial Fraud
Updated October 10, 2018