Fresno Man Charged in Schemes to Defraud and Identity Theft

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FRESNO, Calif. — Brian Kenneth Stoffel, 38, of Fresno, was arraigned this week on a seven-count indictment charging him with bank fraud, use of an unauthorized access device, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Stoffel obtained the name, social security account number, date of birth, and other means of identification of a specific victim. Stoffel used that personally identifiable information to open a checking account at the victim’s bank and drain the victim’s savings account using an unauthorized debit card, to apply for various lines of credit in the victim’s name, and to apply to the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a disaster loan. It is alleged that Stoffel caused at least $420,000 in actual and attempted loss in less than a one-year period of time.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Elder Abuse Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura D. Withers and Joseph Barton are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Stoffel faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


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