Two Tifton residents have been arrested after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Macon on multiple counts after being accused of embezzlement.
Prosecutors say that Jatin Patel and Donna Evans Moore used stolen United States Treasury checks and used forged endorsements to the tune of $3.5 million by cashing and deposting to banks around the region according to the indictment.
Both have been charged with one count each of Conspiracy to Possess Stolen U.S. Treasury Checks, Passing Forged Securities and Embezzling Public Monies, six counts of embezzling government property, and six counts of aggravated identity theft.
The following press release was issued by the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia's office:
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Jatin Patel, 42, and Donna Evans Moore, a/k/a Donna Evans Furguson, 38, both from Tifton, Georgia, were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Macon, Georgia on December 10,2013, for Conspiracy to Possess Stolen U.S. Treasury Checks, Passing Forged Securities and Embezzling Public Monies (Count One); Embezzling Government Property (Counts Two-Seven) and Aggravated Identity Theft (Counts Eight-Thirteen). The two were both arrested on December 11, 2013, and were arraigned in in federal court in Albany on that day.
If convicted, the defendants face the following penalties: Count One, up to 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; Counts Two-Seven, up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine; Counts Eight-Thirteen, 2 years imprisonment consecutive to any other penalty and a $250,000 fine.
Atlanta SAIC Reginald Moore, said, "The U.S. Secret Service, along with its local law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously investigate the negotiation of U.S. Treasury checks generated from Identity Theft."
An indictment is only an accusation, and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Tift County Sheriff s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers.