Reston man pleads guilty to counterfeit COVID-19 stimulus checks scheme

Virginia

RESTON, Va. (WDVM) — A Reston man plead guilty to several crimes, including a scheme of creating counterfeit COVID-19 stimulus checks.

According to court documents, Johnathan Drew stole mail addressed to more than 150 individuals in Fairfax County between December 2019 and August 2020. He collected more than $700,000 in checks and also retrieved a COVID-19 stimulus payment, which he used to create counterfeit checks ranging from $1,200 to $2,400.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Eastern District of Virginia said in a release, “Drew also used the personally identifiable information of several individuals without authorization to lease an apartment, open bank accounts, and attempt to conduct fraudulent transactions through counterfeit checks, forged checks, unauthorized use of credit cards, and wire transfers.”

Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said, “We are firmly committed to holding accountable fraudsters who engage in identity theft and exploit a national economic crisis for personal gain at the expense of hardworking members of our communities.”

Drew is scheduled to be sentenced on August 25 and faces up to 32 years in prison.

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