CLEARFIELD – A homeless man accused of cashing more than $7,000 in fake checks was sentenced Monday in Clearfield County Court.
Christopher David McCormick, 50, pleaded guilty to forgery, theft by deception and criminal attempt/theft by deception before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman during a special sentencing session.
Ammerman sentenced him to six months to one year in jail and one year consecutive probation. He was fined $300 plus costs and ordered to pay restitution of $7,331.16.
The charges stem from incidents Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police were called to the CNB Bank on South Second Street, in Clearfield Dec. 1 because a man was trying to cash a fake check. When police arrived, he was still at the counter and was taken into custody.
An employee told police that McCormick had cashed three other fraudulent checks at other branches before coming to the Clearfield office. Earlier that same day, he cashed a check at the DuBois office, which was found to be fraudulent after he left the bank. They then issued an alert about McCormick to the other offices.
He cashed four checks, totaling more than $7,330 that were made out to him. The fifth check that he attempted to cash at the Clearfield branch was for $1,880.17.
When he spoke to police, McCormick claimed that he was in a church food line in Pittsburgh when a man walked up to him and asked if he wanted to make some money.
McCormick said he was told that he would be given a check with his name on it and then to take it to the bank to cash it. After he got the money, he was supposed to give the cash to the man and then he would be paid.
McCormick said he didn’t think this was right, but he did not care because he was jobless and homeless. He explained that he only made $100 the first day.
He admitted that he cashed the four checks and that his signature was on them, according to the report. He was unable to give the name of the two men who brought him to Clearfield.
Police noted in the affidavit that McCormick did this same type of crime in another county. Online court records show McCormick has charges pending for theft by unlawful taking, forgery and bad checks in Indiana County.