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  • Writer's pictureRobin Lyons

Money Man

I’m sure you’ve had this same thought… if a criminal put in as much time and effort into a lawful job or creating a lawful business as he or she put into plotting their get-rich crime, they’d have money and freedom. The true crime case summary I’m sharing today is a prime example.

Almost twenty years ago, a 19-year-old man went to prison for his first attempt to get rich illegally. The court sentenced him to 16 months in prison for identity theft in which he used the identity to purchase a townhouse and an exotic car.

Two years later, using the same person’s stolen identity, he defrauded two people he met at a gym. The court sentenced him to seven years in prison and five years of probation.

While on probation for his fraud conviction, he began planning his next crimes. He, his wife and an associate stole blocks of blank postal money orders from a post office. Using a computer, they imprinted the money orders with various denominations and then deposited the money orders into several bank accounts, shortly after withdrawing the money. After his arrest, the investigation determined they’d stolen over $300,000.

At the same time, he ran the money order scheme, he also orchestrated a scam to fraudulently finance the purchase of high-end vehicles using straw buyers.

Per Wikipedia: A straw buyer is a person who agrees to acquire goods or services for someone who is often unable or unwilling to purchase the goods or services themselves, and then after purchasing them the buyer transfers the goods or services to that person.

After they purchased the vehicles, he’d contact the Department of Vehicles, claiming to have lost the registered title and request a replacement title. Once he had possession of the replacement title, he sold the vehicle. The original car loans went into default. The investigation into this get-rich scheme found that he’d stolen over $1 million. #turecrime #fraud

At 37, the court sentenced him for both schemes to another eight years in prison, followed with three years of supervised release.

The court sentenced his 40-year-old wife to over three years in prison, and the associate to over two years in prison.

Source: United States Department of Justice, Postal Employee Network

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