SAN JOSE, Calif. - More than 600 fake checks were found during a search last week at the home of a Sunnyvale man suspected of stealing more $1 million through identity theft and check fraud, San Jose police said Monday.
John Mahoni, 30, was taken into custody on Dec. 14 after a lengthy investigation that began in May 2022, when detectives began looking into a series of cases involving victims of check fraud and identity theft.
Police say Mahoni is the primary suspect in a crime ring that altered money orders, printed fraudulent checks and stole personal checks. The money was used to buy guns, drugs and jewelry, according to a news release from San Jose police.
Warrants were obtained for Mahoni and to search his home by the the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and San Jose police detectives.
John Mahoni, of Sunnyvale, was arrested Dec. 14, 2023 on suspicion of check fraud and identity theft. (San Jose Police Department via Bay City News)
U.S. Postal Inspectors were also on hand for the search at Mahoni's home, where authorities allegedly found a short-barreled assault rifle, a second unregistered pistol with extended magazines, ammunition, cash, jewelry, 100 altered money orders, and over 600 fraudulent checks.
The thefts from victims of check fraud and identity theft added up to more than $1 million. When he was arrested, Mahoni allegedly had a loaded ghost gun with an extended magazine.
Mahoni was booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of felony fraud, weapons possession and identity theft. Court records show Mahoni is being held without bail and is set to appear in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Anyone with information about the cases or similar cases is asked to contact Detective Wellman #4447 of the San Jose Police Financial Crimes, Burglary Unit via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.