St. Louis County man indicted for depositing checks stolen from the mail

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A man from St. Louis County, Missouri has been accused in an indictment of depositing thousands of dollars’ worth of checks that had been stolen from the mail.

Malik Jones, 26, of Berkeley, Missouri, was indicted by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Nov. 8, 2023, with three counts of bank fraud, one count of possession of stolen mail matter and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He was arrested January 31 in Florida and appeared in court in St. Louis Wednesday to plead not guilty.

The indictment alleges that Jones recruited other people to supply their debit cards and banking information to him, which he then used to deposit forged and fraudulent checks that Jones obtained from mail stolen out of collection boxes and mailboxes in the St. Louis area. Jones altered the amount payable on the checks and the payee’s name before depositing them, the indictment says. He then withdrew the money before the banks discovered that the checks, each written for thousands of dollars, were bogus, the indictment says. The indictment says Jones would pay kickbacks to the bank account holders and those who helped him deposit the fraudulent checks.

Each bank fraud charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both prison and a fine. The possession of stolen mail is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. The aggravated identity theft carries a penalty of two years in prison, consecutive to all other charges, and a fine of up to $250,000.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Maryland Heights Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Clow is prosecuting the case.

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