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Feds Charge Three Fresno Men in Treasury Checks Scam
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 1 year ago on
October 27, 2022

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Three Fresno men are accused of a scam in which nearly 300 counterfeit U.S. Treasury checks worth more than $500,000 were cashed.

An eight-count federal indictment charged Jeffrey Michalk, 43; Steve Gomez, 40; and Michael Dugan, 48, of conspiracy, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said in a news release Thursday morning.

According to court documents, from June 2020 through at least January 2022, the defendants teamed up to cash counterfeit U.S. Treasury checks throughout the Central Valley.

The indictments stem from an investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandre Dempsey is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy charge, a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the theft of money charge, and a mandatory minimum consecutive two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charges.

How to Detect Fake Treasury Checks

The distinguishing security features of a genuine U.S. Treasury check can be seen at this link.

You can verify the issuance of a U.S. Treasury Check at this link.

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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