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Newark Man Used Fake Checks In $2M Nationwide Scam

A Newark man used fake checks to obtain millions in merchandise from home-improvement stores.
A Newark man used fake checks to obtain millions in merchandise from home-improvement stores. Photo Credit: File photo

A 35-year-old Newark man admitted writing bogus checks for which he received millions in merchandise from home-improvement stores across the country, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey said Tuesday. 

Lessie Dickerson III pleaded guilty in Newark to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September. 

Dickerson wrote fraudulent checks for years, from 2013 until 2017, using them to obtain expensive items like hardwood flooring and air conditioners from retailers in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Delaware and other states, including New Jersey. 

Working with others who were not identified by authorities, Dickerson bought the merchandise in person and , in some cases, paid with a check using a phony name but genuine account and routing numbers. 

In another variant of the scam, Dickerson would use a bogus check to open a store credit account, then posed as a signatory on that account to obtain items. 

Dickerson also used fake driver's licenses that either matched the name printed on the phony checks or matched the name on a signatory of an account that had previously been opened. 

Authorities estimate the scam netted about $2 million in items. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office thanked the Union and Totowa police departments, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office and other law enforcement agencies for their assistance. 

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