Woman sentenced to prison after getting thousands from counterfeit check scheme with information from stolen mail

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Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:06 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A Hillsdale woman was sentenced to one year in federal prison after depositing thousands of dollars worth of counterfeit checks made with information from stolen mail.

Tyra G. Robinson, 21, pled guilty in November to four counts of bank fraud, where she admitted to depositing or trying to deposit counterfeit checks that totaled more than $40,000. According to a release from the United States Attorney’s office, Robinson had gotten at least $22,000 from 10 different financial institutions and had gotten counterfeit checks with information of at least 10 victims.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Robinson used information on the counterfeit checks that came from checks stolen from the U.S. mail. These counterfeit checks would typically range from $4,000 to $10,000. She would withdraw the money before the banks realized the checks were counterfeit.

Robinson didn’t work alone in this scheme, according to the Attorney’s Office. She had recruited bank account holders on Facebook and Instagram with promises of kickbacks if they let her deposit checks into their accounts.

On March 10, 2022, St. Louis police attempted to pull over Robinson because she was driving a vehicle that was wanted in connection to a burglary. Robinson then fled from police at a high rate of speed, ultimately crashing into another vehicle. After the crash, police found a purse with $11,517 in cash, a gun and several bank cards and checks in other people’s names.

“Through her mail theft scheme, the defendant was able to steal thousands of dollars from hard-working postal customers, some of whom continue to deal with the financial repercussions caused by her actions,” said Ruth M. Mendonça, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Chicago Division. “The swift joint investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department put an end to her illegal activity. Our agencies will continue to work together to bring justice to victimized citizens of St. Louis.”

Along with a year in prison, Robinson was ordered to repay victims $10,859 and will be on supervised release for five years after leaving prison.