On Friday November 8, 2019 Josaiah David Silveira, , was convicted by a jury before Judge Donald Segerstrom of 7 counts of identity theft, 8 counts of forgery, 2 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and 4 counts of shoplifting. The convictions stem from a series of forged checks cashed at two local businesses, Tuolumne Market and Mar Val Grocery in Groveland, between October 26 and October 31, 2018. Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who prosecuted the case, indicated the facts produced at trial were as follows: Starting on October 26, 2018 Silveira began coming into the Tuolumne Market, selecting a small quantity of merchandise (usually Marlboro cigarettes) and cashing checks that appeared to be from the account of Joe Cover and Sons. From the 26th to the 29th Silveira was able to cash “Cover” checks totaling over $1600. On the 29th Silveira was observed on store surveillance entering the store with Michael Fasnacht (who also cashed a bogus Cover and Sons check). On the 30th Silveira again entered the market with another Cover and Sons check, but this time the cashier took the check to a manager for confirmation and Silveira immediately left the store without waiting. Employees called the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department and it was quickly determined that the Cover checks were bogus, especially since they were drawn on a different bank than the one Cover and Sons did business with. Evidence showed that after leaving the Tuolumne Market on the 30th Silveira went to Mar Val Grocery in Groveland where, at two different times that day, he passed checks supposedly drawn on an account belonging to Gold Mine Storage in Sonora. On the 31st he again went into Mar Val with a woman (using identification in the name of Christina Shope) and they both passed forged Gold Mine Storage checks while purchasing items. Surveillance video showed Silveira during each of the transactions. Using a photograph of Silveira taken from one surveillance video the Sheriff’s Department posted the photo and asked the public to be on the lookout for him. On November 1, 2018 staff from Black Oak Casino contact the Sheriff’s Department to advise them that someone matching Silveira was in the casino. Sheriff’s deputies made contact with Silveira on the casino floor where they found him wearing the same clothing he had been wearing when passing a forged check at Mar Val. A search of Silveria’s car turned up computer hard drives, a printer, blank 8 ½ x 11 check paper, a paper cutter, original completed Goldmine Storage checks and envelopes, and numerous fraudulent checks that appeared to be drawn on accounts belonging to Goldmine Storage and Mike’s Pizza. Most of the checks were made out to Silveira, but others were made out to Christina Shope and Michael Fas. Sheriff’s deputies went to Gold Mine Storage where they determined the washed checks found in Silveira’s car had been stolen from the business mailbox and altered. The other Gold Mine checks found in his car had been created using the information on the original checks, including routing numbers. The jury deliberated over an hour before returning guilty verdicts. Based on Silveira’s prior criminal history he is facing 16 years 4 months in state prison. Sentencing is currently set for January 6, 2020.
For more information, contact Eric Hovatter 209-588-5450.