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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

California Man Pleads Guilty to Cashing Fraudulent and Stolen Checks



Cashed Tax Refund and Social Security Checks at Walmart Stores

A San Pablo, California, resident pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy to commit theft of government property, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch of the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf for the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

According to the plea agreement, from about August 2013 through April 2015, Devonnie Davison, participated in a conspiracy to illegally obtain money from the federal government by negotiating misappropriated U.S. Treasury checks.  He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of public money and two counts of theft of public money.  Davison admitted that some of the checks were obtained by filing false tax returns with the IRS while others were stolen U.S. Treasury checks acquired by his coconspirators.  Davison cashed those checks under false pretenses at Walmart stores in the Bay Area.  To carry out the scheme, Walmart cashiers were paid by members of the conspiracy to cash the fraudulent and stolen U.S. Treasury checks.  Davison also conspired with other individuals who prepared and filed false tax returns with the IRS and attempted to cash stolen U.S. Treasury checks during 2013, 2014 and 2015, which totaled $521,318.

Davison, along with 10 codefendants, was charged on Nov. 5, 2015, in a 71-count indictment with conspiracy to commit theft of public money, theft of public money, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Davison faces a statutory maximum term of five years in prison for the count of conspiracy to commit theft of public money and 10 years in prison for the count of theft of public money.  He also faces a term of supervised release and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo, U.S. Attorney Stretch and Special Agent in Charge Batdorf commended special agents of IRS-CI, who investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Newman and Jose A. Olivera and Trial Attorney Gregory Bernstein of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.

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