Crime

Trial set for man in theft of mail for fake checks, IDs

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE 
 A conspiracy case being prosecuted in federal court in Gulfport involves checks stolen from curbside mail boxes and used to make fake checks spent at Wal-Mart stores.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE A conspiracy case being prosecuted in federal court in Gulfport involves checks stolen from curbside mail boxes and used to make fake checks spent at Wal-Mart stores.

GULFPORT -- A man accused in the theft of checks from mailboxes in Harrison County as part of identity theft and counterfeit check schemes is set for trial.

Greg Anderson, 37, is among five out-of-state residents indicted and the last to face prosecution in federal court.

Prosecutors have said the conspiracy also involved using stolen identities to make bogus checks then spent at Wal-Mart stores in Biloxi, Pass Christian and Crowley, Texas.

Anderson was arraigned Tuesday on a conspiracy indictment filed May 20.

He is set for trial in July. Anderson's hometown is unknown, a U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman said.

Prosecutors have said the conspiracy unfolded as Anderson and another man looked for mailboxes with raised flags and searched the outgoing mail for checks. The victims' bank routing numbers and other information was used to make counterfeit checks and ID cards, which were used to buy gift cards, prepaid credit cards, electronics, food and clothing, and in at least one instance, motel expenses.

Anderson stole mail in Harrison County from Nov. 22, 2013, through New Year's Day 2014, when he used a fake check at the Wal-Mart in Pass Christian, the indictment said.

He had been wanted on a warrant since the indictment was filed. Federal marshals found him March 16 in Griffin, Ga.

He was taken to federal court in Atlanta, where he was released on a personal appearance bond and given a court date in Gulfport.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Judge John Gargiulo allowed him to remain free on bond with a special condition. A document said he is living at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta. He must call a federal probation officer in Gulfport every Monday before 9 a.m.

Some of his co-defendants have been ordered to make restitution of $9,671.87.

David Elliot Burney, 47, of Grandbury, Texas, is set for sentencing Monday. He stole mail from Oct. 4, 2013, through Nov. 6, 2013, when he went to the Biloxi Wal-Mart with fake checks twice in the same day.

Also sentenced on related guilty pleas are Charles "Cody Blue" Slaton, 47, of Griffin, Ga.; Megan Murley, 27, of Marlin, Texas; and Joe Gonzales Jr., 36, of Fort Worth, Texas.

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