Fraudster Gets 11 Years in Federal Prison for $300K Check Scam Targeting Grocery Chain

An Indianapolis man who ran a fake check scam and stole more than $300,000 from Kroger stores in at least 12 states has been sentenced to 11 years and two months in federal prison.

Frank “Bread” Powell, 29, was sentenced to 134 months behind bars for orchestrating a large-scale fraud ring, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Powell must also serve five years of supervised release following his sentence.

“Mr. Powell’s career of lies, deceit and fraud are over,” United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler said in a statement. “This prosecution should remind those out there who defraud local businesses and banks – particularly those with lengthy criminal histories of theft, fraud, and deception – that they will face real consequences.”

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Officials said from 2017 through April 2018, Powell and others presented and used fraudulent checks at Kroger stores in Indianapolis and at least 12 other states to purchase gift cards and merchandise.

Powell recruited and trained more than 20 “runners” to cash the fake checks at Kroger stores. Powell printed the checks, and distributed them to the runners and received a cut of the profits. Investigators said the scheme involved the use of 5,000 fraudulent checks, resulting in losses exceeding $300,000.

Powell also attempted to defraud a local bank and car dealership when he tried to obtain financing to purchase a Cadillac Escalade using the identity of another person. He used a fraudulent Illinois driver’s license along with the name, address and social security number of the victim during the loan application process, which was ultimately stopped by the dealership…  IndyStar

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