CT man pleads guilty to using stolen “convenience checks” to defraud banks

Justin Edwards, 27, of Coventry, Connecticut pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to four counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between July 2007 and March 2008, Edwards and a co-defendant stole balance transfer checks, also known as “convenience checks,” from residence mailboxes. He and others then opened several bank accounts at various Connecticut financial institutions, forged the stolen checks making them payable to themselves, and deposited them into accounts they had opened. Edwards and a co-defendant then withdrew cash before the victim financial institutions discovered that the underlying deposits were fraudulent.

Through this scheme, he and others deposited approximately $188,454 in fraudulent checks and were successful in defrauding the victim banks of approximately $89,763.

Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for January 21, 2010, at which time Edwards faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 125 years and a fine of up to approximately $4.25 million.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul H. McConnell.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

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