TEMPLE (November 29, 2012)-- A Temple man was sentenced Thursday in Waco's federal court after he earlier pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal personal information and checks, and then cashing checks made out in either his name or the name of a woman who was also charged in the scheme.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith sentenced Billy Anthony Paul to four years in federal prison on each of three counts to be served concurrently and to be followed by three concurrent three-year terms on supervised release.
Smith also ordered Paul to pay a $1,500 fine and $300 in special assessments to the court.
Federal court documents say Paul and Nicole Lawson, also of Bell County, worked together to steal Social Security numbers and other personal information and personal checks from mailboxes throughout Temple, and then wrote checks to themselves for cash.
Lawson also has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.
On Oct. 28, 2011, Paul and Lawson attempted to cash a Texas Bank and Trust check at Texell Bank, also in Temple, that was drawn on an account that belonged to another person, authorities said.
Police also discovered stolen mail and other identifying information in the defendants' possession that belonged to another person, authorities said.
Authorities believe Paul and Lawson broke into mailboxes and vehicles and stole identifying items and blank checks from them as part of the conspiracy.