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Press Release

Cincinnati Man Pleads Guilty to Using Counterfeit Checks at Gaming Casinos

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

James Brown, 59, of Cincinnati, OH, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that between May 2014 through February 2017, Brown and others negotiated counterfeit checks at gaming casinos along the east coast from Florida to New York, using false identification documents produced with the names of real persons to negotiate the counterfeit checks. Some of those checks were negotiated at the River’s Casino in Pittsburgh. Fraud losses total several hundred thousand dollars.

Judge Fischer scheduled the sentencing for December 21, 2017 at 11 a.m. The law provides for a maximum sentence for the bank fraud conspiracy is 30 years in prison, and a minimum sentence of 24 months incarceration for aggravated identity theft, and fines for both crimes totaling $1,250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

Agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of James Brown.

Updated August 29, 2017

Identity Theft