Cheswick Residents Charged in Bad Check Scheme

DOJ - Department of Justice
DOJ - Department of Justice
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PITTSBURGH, PA – Two residents of Cheswick, Pennsylvania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of related to the theft of government property, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today. One of the defendants is also charged with uttering and possessing false securities.

The six-count Indictment, returned on Dec. 4 and unsealed today, named Holly Lovasik, 31, and John Martell, 38, as defendants.

According to indictment presented to the court, from April 23, 2018 through June 11, 2018, Lovasik and Martell engaged in a scheme to purchase large quantities of stamps from post offices in western Pennsylvania using bad checks. Lovasik used checks in her own name linked to a bank account she knew was closed, and Martell used checks in the names of two individuals, which were falsely altered, completed and signed. The defendants later sold the stamps for cash.

For Holly Lovasik the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or both. For John Martell the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 45 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of each defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christy Criswell Wiegand is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.