Orange County man found guilty of $1.2 million check fraud scheme

An Orange County man was found guilty of conducting a $1.2 million check fraud scheme that he promoted on social media.

Meshach Samuels, 26, from Placentia, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

From May 2021 to March 2022, “Samuels urged his Instagram followers to join his Telegram chat groups, where – for a fee of up to thousands of dollars – he would provide instructions on how to recruit accomplices and commit check fraud to steal money from banks,” officials said.

Samuels and his accomplices would create fraudulent checks drawn from victim accounts. They used stolen personal information that was obtained from a “corrupt” bank teller and other sources, officials said.

They would deposit the fraudulent checks into third-party accounts and withdraw the money in amounts under $10,000 to avoid any bank alerts. The bank teller accomplice was also paid a portion of the stolen cash, authorities said.

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