Missouri man sentenced to 7 years in prison for series of frauds costing victims almost $286,000

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U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry on Tuesday sentenced a man who committed a series of frauds that cost victims $285,998 to 88 months in prison and ordered him to repay the money.

From October 2019 through November 2021, Michael Worsham orchestrated a series of frauds. He bought vehicles using stolen identities, took out bank loans in the names of others and stole checks, and then altered and cashed them.

“He was ripping off everyone,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Dowd III said in court.

Worsham admitted using stolen or false identification to buy a 2015 Mustang, a black Chevy Avalanche, and a 2021 Suzuki motorcycle. He also paid a friend to use a stolen identity to buy a 2021 Honda motorcycle. He unsuccessfully tried to buy a $17,841 Ford Mustang GT.

Worsham also took out a series of four to five-figure loans, and he altered checks and then deposited them, again reaping thousands of dollars.

Worsham told O’Fallon, Missouri police that he bought stolen personal information online before applying for loans online, estimating that he’d committed $200,000 in fraudulent activity, his plea agreement says. Worsham said he committed fraud to buy drugs and gambling.

Worsham, now 34, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of wire fraud, seven counts of bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

“Worsham engaged in a multitude of fraudulent activities that not only caused financial hardships and loss of funds to those whose identities he stole but to businesses and taxpayers as well,” said Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Kansas City Katherine Greer. “These types of crimes are often minimalized by those not directly involved, but often there is a snowball effect that could result in increased fees that are unfortunately then passed along to consumers and taxpayers. HSI and our law enforcement partners are dedicated to seeking criminals, like Worsham, who are victimizing for their own gain.”

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, aided by several police departments including those in Maryland Heights, Arnold, O’Fallon, St. Louis County, and St. Louis. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Dowd III is prosecuting the case.