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Financial Crimes

Tallahassee woman sentenced to 46 months in prison for counterfeit check fraud scheme

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Jamie Marie Caloway, 50, of Tallahassee, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for possessing, receiving and concealing approximately $565,000 in counterfeit cashier's checks, following an investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

Caloway was also sentenced to a three year term of supervised release to follow her prison term, during which time her use of computers will be monitored by the U.S. Probation Office.

"This case demonstrates ICE's commitment to holding those who defraud the public accountable for their actions," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Tallahassee. "This woman took advantage of people, defrauding them out of their money for her own personal financial gain."

On Jan. 19, Caloway pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging her with possession of counterfeit bank checks, in violation of Title 18, U. S. Code, Section 2315.

Calloway was arrested on June 15, 2009, after accepting a package containing 170 fraudulent instruments purportedly drawn on Regions Bank, Washington Mutual Bank and Compass Bank. The package was addressed to the defendant from Togo, West Africa.

CBP officers intercepted the package, as well as an earlier package addressed to the defendant, which contained approximately 158 other counterfeited checks and Money-Grams, totaling $176,000. CBP also intercepted a counterfeit Nigerian passport bearing the defendant's photograph, which was mailed to her. The defendant deposited other fraudulent instruments at a local bank and a local credit union, but no funds were released or loss incurred in those transactions. In total, the defendant was held responsible for more than $1 million dollars in fraudulent financial instruments.

The defendant sent individual fraudulent instruments to nearly 200 people. Several people then deposited such instruments, transmitted portions of the proceeds to the defendant, and only then learned that the underlying instruments were worthless and that they were responsible for the transmitted funds. The defendant received about $100,000 from such transactions, transferring most of these monies overseas.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Michael T. Simpson.