PITTSBURGH – A resident of Columbia, South Carolina, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, including theft of mail, possessing forged securities, and bank fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Taylor Frierson, age 29, originally from Columbia, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Robert J. Colville.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from April 2019 to July 2019, Frierson conspired with others to steal checks contained in United States mail at local businesses and other establishments. Members of the conspiracy, including Frierson, would send photographs of the legitimate checks to other conspirators who would in turn create altered, fraudulent versions of the checks. The fraudulent checks were made payable to individuals from the local area recruited by Frierson and others. Frierson also drove the individuals to cash the fraudulent checks at local banks. The conspiracy victimized more than 10 victims in Western Pennsylvania and led to tens of thousands of dollars in losses.
Judge Colville scheduled sentencing for December 2, 2021 at 11:00 am. For the conspiracy charged, the law provides for a total sentence of not more than 5 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Court ordered that Frierson be released on bond pending sentencing.
Assistant United States Attorney Brian M. Czarnecki is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
This case resulted from the investigations of multiple agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.