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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Medway Police assisted Rhode Island Department of Justice in bank fraud case that exploited homeless people

By Theresa Knapp 
The Rhode Island Department of Justice credits the Medway Police Department in an investigation that led to a Georgia man being sentenced in a bank fraud scheme that exploited homeless people. 
In June, the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office, District of Rhode Island, issued a press release that said, “A Georgia man who solicited, transported, and paid homeless individuals from the Providence area to cash hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of counterfeit business checks in four New England states was sentenced today to two years in federal prison.”
According to the Justice Department press release, Jalen Ronald Stanford, 28, of Riverdale, GA, and others, created counterfeit checks generally in the amount of $2,000 or more. The checks were made payable to homeless individuals who agreed to be driven to banks in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine to cash them. These individuals were often paid approximately $100 per check that they successfully cashed. From October 2018 through February 2021, numerous homeless individuals were arrested at banks throughout the region as they attempted to cash some of the counterfeit checks.
A United States Secret Service investigation determined that approximately $677,687 worth of counterfeit checks were presented to banks throughout the four states, causing actual losses to financial institutions of nearly $481,000.
Stanford pled guilty on March 10, 2022, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was sentenced on June 14, 2022, by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., to 24 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release. Stanford was ordered to pay restitution to financial institutions totaling $480,943.71.
United States Attorney Cunha thanked the Providence, RI, and Medway, MA, Police Departments for their assistance in this investigation. 
Medway Police Lieutenant Detective Matthew Reardon told Local Town Pages that “Medway was the lead agency in the case working with Secret Service. We began the investigation in late 2018 after fraudulent checks were cashed in Medway. We learned homeless or transient individuals were being recruited in and around homeless shelters in Providence and driven around southeastern MA and RI to cash these stolen checks. We learned business checks were being stolen out of the mail of businesses then reproduced on a computer in the name of the cashers. Once the cashers were recruited, they were all being taken to a CVS in Providence where one of the handlers would walk away and come back a short time later with computer-generated checks in the casher’s name. The handlers would then drive the cashers to various branches of the issuing bank to have the checks cashed.”
Reardon said numerous local departments participated in this investigation including Medway, Holliston, Bellingham, Wrentham, Blackstone, and many more.