OSI key to sentencing Robins thief

  • Published
  • By Pamela Lightsey
  • U.S. Attorney Middle District of Georgia Public Affairs
Simon Watson, 37, of Warner Robins, Ga., was sentenced March 10, 2016, by the Honorable Judge Leslie J. Abrams, to 51 months imprisonment for theft of public funds, aggravated identity theft and failure to appear for sentencing. Watson is also required to pay $3,088.30 in restitution to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

The case was investigated by the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

"The agents did an outstanding job which resulted in this significant sentence of imprisonment," said Acting United States Attorney G.F. "Pete" Peterman.

Watson entered a guilty plea to theft of public funds and aggravated identity theft June 9, 2015. From Feb. 11, 2014, through March 2, 2014, Watson, a discharged Air Force member, cashed and attempted to cash, eleven forged checks at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

The checks cashed by Watson were from two business accounts he had incorporated, both of which were later dissolved. The bank accounts for both businesses had also been closed. Watson stole three Common Access Cards from the Robins gym, which he used as identification to cash the fraudulent checks.

Watson would print the name from the stolen CAC on the checks from his dissolved businesses and bring the checks, along with the stolen CAC, to the AAFES to cash. Watson successfully cashed $3,088.30 in checks at the AAFES. However, OSI investigators located additional pre-printed checks in his vehicle.

"Not only did Mr. Watson steal money that did not belong to him but he also betrayed the trust of his fellow servicemen by stealing their identities to further his criminal enterprise," Peterman said.

The parties agreed that the intended loss amount was $10,000 to $30,000.

Watson was scheduled to appear for sentencing Oct. 8, 2015, on the theft of public funds and aggravated identity theft charges.

He was aware of this scheduled court appearance but did not appear as required. Watson was subsequently charged with failure to appear for sentencing, and entered a plea of guilty to that charge Dec. 4, 2015.

Assistant U. S. Attorney Beth Howard prosecuted the case on behalf of the Government.