Man pleads guilty to counterfeiting charges

Published 12:37 am Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A South Dakota man pleaded guilty to federal counterfeiting charges of passing 20 fake checks drawn from several Alabama medical facilities – including Andalusia Regional Hospital.

U.S. Attorney Leura Canary’s office reported that Michael Wayne Hicks, 39, of Box Elder, S.D., was accused of counterfeiting checks on a number of nearby medical facilities such as Troy Regional Medical Center, Elba General Hospital and Nursing Home and Southeast Alabama Medical Center, as well as ARH.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office, the federal government also charged Hicks with the possession of equipment used for the manufacturing of counterfeit securities, in this instance a laptop computer.

But on Friday, Hicks pleaded guilty to only two of the counts within the 21-felony count indictment filed against him – counts one and 21 of the indictment.

Federal court records indicate Hicks pleaded guilty to being found in possession of a counterfeit check drawn on the account of ARH in the amount of $488.10, after pleading guilty to being in possession of the check in February in Henry County. He also pleaded guilty to the possession of a counterfeit check, which had an account number on it with BB&T Corp. and a routing number that belonged to First National Bank.

Records indicate that while in possession of the counterfeit check and laptop computer, Hicks acted with the intent to deceive a BB&T Corporation and First National Bank.

Hicks was initially arrested following traffic stop in Headland when an officer noticed he had a faulty tail light. A Headland police K-9 named Binky alerted to the car, and officers found the counterfeiting equipment inside the vehicle.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Headland Police Department.

Hicks will remain in custody until his Dec. 1 sentencing, where he faces not more than a 10-year prison sentence.