Man sentenced for forging stolen checks

An undated courtesy photo of Gregory Warren Wade.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who stole checks from the mail and then altered and cashed them to pay for drugs is headed to a federal prison.

In federal court in Grand Rapids Tuesday, Gregory Warren Wade was sentenced to five years behind bars. He’ll also have to serve five years of supervised release and pay $200 in fees.

Federal authorities say Wade stole checks from mailboxes, changed the amounts they were for, wrote in his name as the recipient and then cashed them at banks in and around Grand Rapids, making off with more than $2,500.

Photo: Surveillance photo from Huntington Bank shows Gregory Warren Wade. (Courtesy U.S. Postal Inspection Service)

Wade was caught earlier this year after he was seen on surveillance video attempting to cash a bad check and indicted on eight federal criminal counts in June. In July, he pleaded guilty to one count of theft or receipt of stolen mail and one count of bank fraud. Six other counts were dismissed.

Wade has a long history of cocaine abuse, according to court documents filed last month, and his scheme fueled his drug addiction.

He has six previous convictions for financial fraud. In two of those — one in 2002 and one in 2006 — he was committing the same crime as in the most recent case.