A Riverview man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Monday in a plea agreement related to him cashing forged tax refund checks.
Anthony Simms, 37, pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to seven counts of passing forged Treasury checks, seven counts of theft of government property and seven counts of aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said in a news release.
U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore also orded Simms to forfeit nearly $64,000, the proceeds from the checks, the news release said.
From November 2011 to January 2012, Simms used various ATMs to deposit 57 third-party tax refund Treasury checks and eight tax refund cashier’s checks into his business account at SunTrust Bank, according to court documents.
Simms was the sole signatory on the business account and the only one who used the ATM card for the deposits, the court documents said. He was not authorized or entitled to deposit or cash these checks and knew that the signatures of the payees on the back of the checks were forged, the documents said.
The payees named on the Treasury checks did not know or have any dealings with Simms or his business. Some were deceased.
Investigators said the total amount deposited into Simms’ account through the 65 checks was $449,689. Investigators found that Simms opened other business accounts at two other banks, where he attempted to deposit more than $15,000 in Treasury checks.
Simms had faced a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each forgery and theft count, plus two consecutive years on the identity theft counts.