Crime & Courts

Man charged in scheme that stole $650,000 in postage stamps in Carolinas, elsewhere

A federal grand jury in Charlotte returned a criminal indictment Friday charging a 47-year-old man in a check fraud scheme that netted $650,000 in postage stamps and other merchandise, acting U.S. Attorney Jill Rose said.

Jimmy Lee Williams faces 29 felony charges in the scheme, Rose said.

The indictment says Williams gave counterfeit checks and fake IDs to 16 accomplices to buy postage stamps, gift cards and other merchandise from post offices in the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Williams used some of the checks drawn on his closed accounts and the bank accounts of accomplices he met in prison and through youth football leagues in the Concord area, prosecutors said.

His accomplices gave the stamps they bought to Williams, who sold them to an Internet company in California and a North Carolina pawn shop, typically for 50 to 70 percent of the face value, prosecutors said.

Williams was charged with:

▪ Two counts of conspiracy, each carrying a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

▪ Five counts of making counterfeit securities, each carrying a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

▪ Five counts of theft of government property, which carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

▪ Five counts of receiving stolen government property, which carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

▪ Five counts of scheme to obtain bank property, which carries a maximum 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine per count.

▪ Three counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, carrying a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

▪ One count of concealment money laundering, which carries a maximum 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Williams is in federal custody and will be ordered to appear in court on the charges, prosecutors said.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak

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