RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A North Carolina man was given 10 years in federal prison for stealing checks from mailboxes in the Richmond area.
Court documents say Lareese Martelles Mallety, 25, of Raeford, NC, conspired with several other individuals to steal mail from business parks and cashed the checks found inside.
Prosecutors said Mallety traveled from his home in North Carolina to Richmond between July 2018 and October 2018 to commit the crimes.
Mallety and others are believed to have used pry bars to vandalize secure mailboxes at more than 70 businesses and recruited homeless people to cash the checks. Razor blades and typewriters were used to alter the stolen checks to make them payable to the homeless person.
In three months, more than $36,000 in checks were fraudulent cashed as part of this scheme, with all of the money being returned to Mallety.
Mallety was arrested in October 2018 while traveling to Richmond. A pry bar, razor blades, typewriter, three stolen mail parcels and 45 checks worth nearly $120,000 were found in the rental vehicle he was driving.
Prosecutors said Mallety is a nine-time convicted felon and carried a handgun that he showed to the homeless people while recruiting them to cash the checks.
The 10-year sentence is for charges of conspiring to commit mail and bank fraud and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Mallety had previously been convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
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