Birmingham man charged in scheme to sell stolen, fake checks

Mekhi Diwone Harris
Mekhi Diwone Harris(Court documents/United States Attorney)
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 5:08 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Birmingham man has been indicted on federal charges in a scheme to sell stolen or fraudulent checks on an instant messaging app for more than $15.1 million.

Prosecutors are charging 24-year-old Mekhi Diwone Harris with conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud.

Prosecutors say Harris was involved in a scheme to sell stolen checks on a Telegram channel called ‘Work Related Slips’ which is dedicated to the sale of stolen or fraudulent checks. Investigators observed thousands of posts with stolen or fraudulent checks, with many victims in the Jefferson County area.

Court documents say individuals who are interested in purchasing the stolen or fraudulent checks can send the administrator of the Telegram channel a private message and arrange to have a check sent to an address of their choosing.

Harris was linked to the ‘Work Related Slips’ Telegram channel through various means, including his Cash App account, text messages, travel records, and social media records.

Prosecutors say Harris used multiple aliases to sell fake checks from October 2022 to last month. They also say he bought items from Amazon that could be used to make fake checks.

Harris was arrested on August 9. The United States attorney’s office says the maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit bank fraud or conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution is 30 years in prison.  The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in prison.

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