Florida trio charged with making, passing bogus checks
Three Florida residents are accused of stealing U.S. mail as part of an alleged counterfeit check scheme based last year in North Fayette Township.
Cheryl Brown, 48, of Riverview, Fla., and Calar Braxton, 44, and Brian Omar Campbell, 28, both of Orlando, Fla., are named as defendants in a seven-count indictment returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh.
Charges in the case include conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, possession of stolen mail and possessing and uttering counterfeit securities.
According to information presented in the case, the three defendants checked into a local hotel on Oct. 5, 2017, and allegedly stole and opened mail belonging to area residents.
They recorded account and routing numbers from checks found in the stolen mail and used them to produce counterfeit bank checks, officials said.
The trio then allegedly used the bogus checks on Oct. 5 and 6, 2017, to buy merchandise from such retailers as Victoria’s Secret, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s department store.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and North Fayette Township Police, who ended the scheme when they obtained a warrant and searched the hotel. Authorities say they recovered a laser printer, stolen mail and blank stock used for printing checks.
According to officials, the defendants have used various aliases. Braxton is also known as Vivian Hugo or Taylor Crimson; Campbell as Vincent Hugo or Troy Crimson, and Brown as Loraine Johnson.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @jhimler_news.