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Fraudster in Newport News sentenced to 57 months in prison

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 15:24:15-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A transient man who formerly resided in various hotels across Virginia was sentenced to 57 months in prison for counterfeit checks.

According to a news release, court documents confirm Michael Culpeper, 44, defrauded banks and other businesses by creating and using counterfeit checks to obtain U.S. currency and buy goods and services.

Officials said Culpeper has an extensive criminal history, including prior felony convictions and reports of similar conduct. In January 2015, Culpeper rented a hotel room owned and operated by a Roanoke business. At the end of the rental period, the hotel refunded his security deposit with a check drawn on its business account, according to the release.

Officials said Culpeper subsequently used the names, addresses, and bank information from this refund check to create counterfeit and fraudulent checks.

Between November 2015 and January 2017, Culpeper negotiated these counterfeit checks at least 16 times.

At the time of his arrest, he had 141 more counterfeit checks.