Reston man sentenced for counterfeit COVID-19 relief checks


Americans refused, paid back or failed to cash 1,315,717 checks of the first-round $1,200 stimulus checks issued under President Trump’s administration at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Internal Revenue Service records. (Getty Images)

RESTON, Va. (WDVM) — 39-year-old Jonathan Drew has been sentenced to more than 5 years in prison for bank fraud and identity theft scheme. The Department of Justice said he created fake COVID-19 stimulus checks.

Drew pleaded guilty back in April. He was joined by Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis, Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George, and Daniel A. Adame, the inspector in charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Washington Division.

Drew was sentenced in federal court in Alexandria on Wednesday by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. According to the DOJ, his 70-month prison sentence is significantly less than the maximum of 32 years that he faced for charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the DOJ, Drew stole the identities of more than 150 people between December 2019 and August 2020. Drew stole U.S. mail addressed to more than 150 individuals in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. The mail Drew stole included bank statements, credit cards, credit card statements, W-2 forms, and more than $700,000 in checks.

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