NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Three Georgia men were sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for their role in recruiting local homeless people to cash counterfeit business checks.
30-year-old Roderick Saunders of Atlanta, was sentenced today to 3.5 years and 26-year-old Ka-Aron Powell, of Stone Mountain, was sentenced to over five years. 30-year-old Yumahnn Quashawn Brown, of Atlanta, was previously sentenced to over sic years in prison on May 24, 2017.
Court documents said, Brown, Powell, and Saunders traveled from Georgia to Virginia and other states several times between August 2015 and August 2016, to steal mail, including business checks, from industrial parks.
They cashed counterfeit checks that had been made using the stolen checks as templates.
During these trips, the Department of Justice said, Brown and Powell traveled to homeless shelters, where Brown solicited people to perform construction and other day jobs.
Brown and Powell then provided the recruits with clothing, food, cigarettes, and alcohol while transporting them to the other areas, often more than an hour away from their respective shelters.
During these trips, Brown sent information about the recruited individuals to Saunders and other conspirators, who were transporting counterfeit checks and check-making tools in separate cars.
These conspirators made the counterfeit checks payable to the homeless recruits in various amounts and provided them to Brown upon arrival in the targeted areas.
Brown then told the homeless recruits that they would be cashing checks at nearby banks instead of performing the jobs he had described.
In Virginia alone, the men caused 30 homeless people to cash 70 counterfeit checks drawn on accounts belonging to 30 local businesses. The total value of these counterfeit checks was nearly $160,000, the DOD said.