HUNTINGTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – George West, 53, of Huntington, pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 12, 2022, West was employed by a Huntington business when he forged the name of the business’s owner on a $780 check that West wrote on the business’s bank account. West gave the forged check to his then-roommate for rent that West owed. West admitted that he was not authorized to write the check or to sign it with the owner’s name, and that he was not entitled to the money. West further admitted that he falsely told the roommate that the check represented money owed by the business owner to West, and that the owner made the check payable to the roommate to cover West’s debt.
West also stole two checks from the roommate, writing each for $780 to pay two month’s worth of rent and signing them with his roommate’s name. West admitted that he was not entitled to that money, and that he knew that his roommate had not authorized him to write the checks or sign them in his name.
West is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. West also owes $14,456.45 in restitution.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Huntington Police Department, and the Charleston Police Department.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan T. Storage is prosecuting the case.