Georgia man pleads guilty in check-cashing scheme

2014-08-06T08:22:00Z 2014-08-21T15:40:30Z Georgia man pleads guilty in check-cashing schemeBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A Georgia man charged in connection to an elaborate check-cashing scheme that victimized Billings banks and businesses in January pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of forgery.

Appearing before District Judge Russell C. Fagg, Fernando Allison admitted he solicited people to cash forged checks at several Billings banks in January.

Fagg scheduled Allison’s sentencing for Oct. 27.

According to prosecutors, Allison and five other men with ties to an Atlanta gang came to Billings and recruited transients as part of check-cashing sprees committed in October, November and January.

The Georgia men would steal payroll checks from the mailboxes of local businesses and use the checks in combination with the transients’ personal information to forge checks, according to an affidavit. The Georgia men would then pay the transients to cash the checks at area banks.

The Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office has charged five other men from Georgia and a number of other men identified as transients in connection to the check-cashing sprees.

The total value of the forged checks was about $117,500, according to court records.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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