BANGOR, Maine — A former Augusta man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to 2½ years in federal prison for bank fraud in 2014, according to his attorney.
Jacob R. Choate, 27, who most recently lived in Tucson, Arizona, pleaded guilty last year to one count of bank fraud.
In addition to prison time, Choate was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay nearly $22,000 in restitution.
By pleading guilty Choate admitted he used washed or altered checks and forged counterfeit checks to defraud eight banks and two businesses in Maine in a scheme that included stealing incoming and outgoing mail to obtain the checks he could alter, defense attorney Matthew Erickson of Brewer said after the sentencing.
Choate has been held without bail since October, when he entered the guilty plea, according to information posted on the court’s electronic case filing system.
He faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on the federal charges.
Choate is scheduled to appear next week at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta to be sentenced on five misdemeanor theft charges and a felony drug charge to which he has pleaded guilty, Erickson said. Choate is expected to serve any state sentence while his is serving his time in federal prison.
He also is facing a robbery charge in Arizona, according to his attorney.
Choate’s co-defendant Ryan Robert Pomerleau, 33, of Seabrook, New Hampshire, is serving a four-year prison term at a federal correctional institute in White Deer, Pennsylvania, to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to court documents. Pomerleau was ordered to pay nearly $88,000 in restitution.