Beaufort News

Check scam involving homeless men brings federal charges

Two Georgia men face federal forgery charges stemming from a scheme that recruited homeless men in Atlanta to cash checks stolen from Hilton Head Island businesses.

If convicted, Gabriel Wendell Brunson, 32, and Jerome Deyon Warren, 28, both of Union City, could be fined up to $250,000 and imprisoned up to 10 years, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

Brunson and Warren recruited two men at homeless shelters in Atlanta to cash the checks, according to authorities.

The group stole outgoing checks from the mailboxes of Hilton Head businesses and then cashed the forged checks at banks in Bluffton and on the island, authorities said. Brunson and Warren provided the homeless men hotel rooms, clothing and false identification, authorities said.

Brunson and Warren were charged with forgery in June by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.