Modesto man faces charges of wire fraud

local@modbee.comJuly 10, 2013 

— A Modesto man was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and passing U.S. Treasury checks bearing forged endorsements.

According to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner, Steven Hamman, 52, was arraigned on 22 charges before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary S. Austin.

According to the indictment, between January 2009 and January 2011, Hamman conspired with others to cash stolen or fraudulently procured checks at electronic check-cashing kiosks (known as "Vcom," or "virtual commerce" machines). Hamman used fraudulently created Vcom accounts to attempt to cash the checks, sometimes using checks that other coconspirators previously had tried and failed to cash.

Hamman and his cohorts allegedly caused or intended to cause a loss of more than $50,000 to more than 50 victims, including financial institutions and others.

If convicted of the conspiracy and wire fraud counts, Hamman faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The maximum penalty for fraudulently passing U.S. Treasury checks is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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