A federal judge has sentenced a 42-year-old Shreveport man to 20 years in prison for his part in a fraudulent check-cashing scheme.
Carlos Spann was convicted by a jury of orchestrating a scheme that resulted in the theft of nearly $400,000 using fake ids and fake checks. Spann also has a two-decade long history of committing white collar fraud crimes, including nine prior convictions of offenses such as counterfeiting and credit card fraud. At sentencing, additional evidence was presented of Spann’s attempts to obstruct justice by procuring affidavits containing false statements, tampering with lawfully issued subpoenas, and discussing trial testimony with prospective witnesses.
In this recent case, Spann was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud following a four-day trial in February. The U.S. Secret Service, Shreveport Police Department, and Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany E. Fields and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook prosecuted the case.
Evidence admitted at trial showed that Spann, Phelix K. Williams, 29, Anthony E. Johnson, 24, both of Shreveport, and others, conspired to cash counterfeit checks using fraudulent identities at banks and retail establishments throughout Louisiana. Spann provided his co-conspirators with altered overlays for identification cards along with counterfeit checks drawn on Tower Loan’s bank account, and counterfeit checks drawn on a United States Postal Service bank account. Each of them were captured by surveillance video cameras using altered identification cards to cash the counterfeit checks. During the conspiracy, they negotiated more than 100 counterfeit checks.
“This offender made a career out of defrauding the people and businesses of Louisiana out of their hard-earned money,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “The 20-year sentence handed down in this case should send a clear message to others that might consider engaging in this type of criminal activity. I want to thank the prosecutors from my office, the U.S. Secret Service, the Shreveport Police Department, and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office for their hard work in uncovering this fraud and bringing this matter to justice.”
“This case exemplifies how important partnerships between Federal and local law enforcement successfully bring criminals like Spann, Williams and Johnson to justice,” said Tara McLeese, Resident Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Baton Rouge Office. “Special thanks to the talented prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Louisiana whose tireless efforts have ensured the public is now protected from financial fraud perpetrated by these individuals.”
Williams pleaded guilty on February 4, 2019, the morning his trial was scheduled to begin, to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, 13 counts of bank fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Judge Hicks sentenced Williams on June 10, 2019, to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised, and also ordered him to pay $399,723.04 in restitution. Johnson pleaded guilty on January 17, 2019, to one count of conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud. Johnson’s sentencing date of May 1, 2019 was upset and has yet to be rescheduled.