Eufaula Man Sentenced for Mail Theft, Bank Fraud, and Identity Theft

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

           Montgomery, Alabama –        On April 26, 2022, Charles Andre Turner, 54, of Eufaula, Alabama, was sentenced to 44 months in prison for stealing mail, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Sandra J. Stewart. Turner’s prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

            According to court records and information disclosed during his sentencing hearing, Turner was previously convicted in 2011 of destruction of letter boxes, theft of mail, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. After serving a 94-month prison sentence, Turner was on supervised release when his U.S. Probation Officer discovered that he had opened 33 new lines of credit, in violation of the terms of his supervised release. On May 10, 2021, agents searched his home pursuant to the search policy of the Court and discovered over 100 pieces of stolen mail and notes containing information about victims’ identities and credit or banking information.

           Further investigation revealed that from October 2020, until May 2021, Turner stole mail from a Columbus, Georgia, post office and took it back home with him to Eufaula, where he began using identity and financial information from the mail to obtain credit cards, open bank accounts, and make financial transactions to benefit himself. Turner even obtained a victim’s Experian credit report and began noting the answers to the victim’s multiple choice security questions, and he altered another victim’s retirement account statement to make his own name appear on it rather than the victim’s. In one example, Turner used a victim’s identity to open a bank account, then deposited another victim’s credit card convenience checks into the account. In yet another extreme example, Turner was able to steal over $50,000.00 from a single victim’s bank account.

           Turner pleaded guilty to possessing stolen mail, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft on January 6, 2022.

           “Mr. Turner’s continued criminal conduct not only shows a blatant disregard for the law, but also for the immeasurable hardship that he caused his victims,” stated U.S. Attorney Stewart. “In the aftermath of these crimes, victims are forced to deal with the damage done to their credit card and bank accounts. Repairing the damage can be tedious and could take months, or even years. My office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute thieves that pray on vulnerable and unsuspecting victims.” U.S. Attorney Stewart would like to remind everyone to be vigilant and check your bank accounts and credit reports regularly. Discovering and reporting discrepancies quickly can help financial institutions and law enforcement limit potential losses.

            This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, and the Sumter County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. Kirkpatrick prosecuted the case.