He was doing laundry in Biloxi when he met his partner in crime

William Magnusen
William Magnusen

William Magnusen said he was washing clothes at a Biloxi laundromat when a stranger pulled up in a black Dodge Charger and asked him to cash a counterfeit check written in the name of the Harrison County Utility Authority.

The stranger, Magnusen said, offered to pay him 20 percent of the cash received from the counterfeit check. The stranger, he said, took 80 percent of the illegal proceeds.

In a span of four days in February 2016, Magnusen, 48, cashed three counterfeit checks totaling more than $8,000, all of which were written in the name of the Utility Authority.

Magnusen is now faced with paying a portion of the $8,603.20 in restitution to the bank where the checks were cashed. He said he committed the crime “at a really low point in my life.”

Magnusen pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of felony uttering forgery. Judge Kathy King Jackson followed the prosecutor’s recommendation and deferred sentencing in the case.

Prosecutors are recommending a five-year sentence on each count, all to run concurrently and suspending the prison term, leaving him five years to serve under post-release supervision.

Magnusen was previously convicted of meth possession. He remained jailed Monday in Jackson County.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45