- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A Louisiana federal judge sent a Florida woman to prison, put a Michigan woman on probation and ordered both to pay restitution for cashing counterfeit checks in Baton Rouge in March 2013.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1jcTuw5) Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson sentenced Ashockie Lorissa Gambles, 30, of Orlando, Florida, to 33 months in prison but gave her credit for the 14 months she has spent in jail since her arrest.

Jackson also ordered Gambles to pay more than $85,000 in restitution to two liquor stores, two convenience stores and a payday loan business.

Chynna Chanae Lacrell Pitts, 20, of the Detroit area received probation for two years.

Jackson ordered her to pay more than $38,000 in restitution.

“I have definitely learned from this,” Pitts, who spent 30 days in jail after her arrest, told the judge.

In March, the judge sentenced another woman involved in the scheme - Malissa Monay Lana Farrell, 22, of Romulus, Michigan - to six months in prison and ordered her to pay more than $39,000 in restitution. She pleaded guilty in November to passing counterfeit securities.

Prosecutors said Gambles, Pitts and Farrell flew into Baton Rouge in March 2013 to cash tens of thousands of dollars in counterfeit checks.

All were written for either $7,613 or $7,856, according to the women’s indictment, which resulted from a U.S. Secret Service investigation.

Gambles and other unnamed individuals created the counterfeit checks for Pitts and Farrell to cash, the indictment alleged. Gambles then arranged for Pitts and Farrell to fly into Baton Rouge, paid for their hotel rooms and drove them to businesses in the Baton Rouge area where the checks were cashed.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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