PORTLAND, Ore.— A Portland woman pleaded guilty today for her role in a fraud scheme whereby she and a co-conspirator would steal mail from residential mailboxes and use stolen personal identification information to defraud local banks.
Latanya Jenkins, 50, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud, mail theft, and aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, beginning on an unknown date and continuing until at least July 7, 2020, Jenkins and an accomplice, Demontae Sanders, 48, also of Portland, conspired with one another to steal mail from residential mailboxes throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area. Jenkins and Sanders stole checks, credit cards, and other personal identity information that they used to impersonate victims and open accounts at several local credit unions and banks. The pair used the accounts to defraud these financial institutions.
To further their scheme, Jenkins and Sanders communicated with one another by text and used the internet at Jenkins’ residence to open several bank accounts using stolen information. Together, they collected hundreds of stolen financial documents including bank statements, checks, tax returns, U.S. Passports, and other government-issued identification documents. They also stole and cashed an Economic Impact Payment check issued by the U.S. Treasury.
On September 24, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an 18-count indictment charging Jenkins and Sanders with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and mail theft.
Jenkins faces a maximum sentence of 37 years in prison; a $1.5 million fine or twice her criminally derived gains, whichever is larger; and five years of supervised release. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence. She will be sentenced on December 14, 2021 before U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown.
As part of the plea agreement, Jenkins has agreed to pay restitution in full to her victims as identified by the government and ordered by the court.
Sanders pleaded guilty to the same charges on May 4, 2021. He will be sentenced on November 11, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service jointly investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Uram is prosecuting the case.