Florida Man Allegedly Wrote Fake Checks Pretending to be Backstreet Boy, Johnny Damon, Barry Larkin, Others

The list of people a Florida man allegedly pretended to be reads like a bizarre roll-call for a C-list celebrity softball game.

The man—48-year-old Michael Watters—from Ocoee, Florida, was accused of writing and cashing fake checks from the following people, among others, according to WFTV and Orlando Sentinel reports this week:

-Johnny Damon, retired MLB star

-Howie Dorough, Backstreet Boy

-Jennifer Capriati, former tennis pro

-John Morgan, Orlando-area lawyer

-Jason Taylor, retired NFL star

-Zach Thomas, retired NFL star

-Jonathan Papelbon, former MLB player

-Barry Larkin, former MLB star

-Joseph Philbin, offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers and former head coach of the Miami Dolphins

-Sterling Hitchcock, retired MLB player

WFTV reported that investigators have been looking into the apparent scheme for three years after finding fake drivers' licenses on the man while searching his vehicle in a Home Depot parking lot after receiving a call about someone doing drugs in the area. Watters has been accused of using the fake checks to buy items at stores then returning the items for cash.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said 21 financial institutions were affected by the scheme and checks totaled up to more than $21,000, according to WOFL. The Sentinel reported that investigators said Watters had the license numbers and dates of births of the famous folks—and that he now faces 22 counts of fraudulent using another person's ID. He was being held on $220,000 bail.

"This is another clear case of identity theft and it shows us no one is immune," Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Danny Banks told WFTV.

Identity theft is incredibly common in the U.S. A survey from Javelin found that some 16.7 million people were affected by an I.D. crime in 2017—an all-time high. Thieves are increasingly gaining access via accounts that aren't secure enough online, CBS reported in February.

"In the past, criminals would get and sell bits and pieces of your personal information," Al Pascual, senior vice president, research director and head of fraud and security at Javelin Strategy & Research told CBS at the time. "Now they have everything—your name, address, Social Security number—and they're taking over multiple accounts at a time."

The oldest man in America, 112-year-old Richard Overton, for instance, reportedly had large sums of money stolen then used to purchase savings bonds via identity theft just last month.

"It's a shock, it hurts, it hurts tremendously," his cousin, Volma Overton Jr., told KXAN.

Florida Man Allegedly Wrote Fake Checks Pretending to be Backstreet Boy, Johnny Damon, Barry Larkin, Others | U.S.