A Charlotte man was sentenced to nearly nine years in federal prison for running a postage stamp scheme that defrauded the government and businesses of nearly $650,000.
Jimmy Lee Williams, 48, was sentenced on Monday in the conspiracy, which he ran from prison while serving time for previous charges, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the western district of North Carolina.
Williams recruited a network of 16 accomplices who used bogus checks and phony identification to buy stamps, gift cards and other merchandise at U.S. post offices and other businesses. The group committed the fraud in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and The District of Columbia.
The group sold the stamps to an Internet company and a North Carolina pawn shop, who would then resell the stamps for as little as half their value.
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Williams ran the scheme from prison and wrote his accomplices instructions on how to commit the fraud. At the time he was serving time for violating the conditions of his supervised release from a previous federal conviction.