FAIRBANKS – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned a 31-count indictment charging two Fairbanks men with conspiracy, bank and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
According to court documents, Jared Post, 25, and Levi Skulstad, 26, defrauded multiple banks and individuals they viewed as vulnerable to scams between 2017 and 2021, obtaining at least $500,000. Post and Skulstad contacted individuals who they called “Plays” via social media or in person and convinced the “Play” to share their bank account information under the pretense they needed to deposit a check into the “Play’s” account. Post or Skulstad then offered the “Play” a portion of the deposited check in return for use of the “Play’s” bank account.
Once the check posted in the “Play’s” account, Post or Skulstad logged in via the “Play’s” remote banking app and withdrew or transferred the funds electronically or directed the “Play” to transfer the funds to one of them via a cash app or Western Union. In reality, the checks Post and Skulstad deposited were stolen and fraudulently altered; and they withdrew the funds prior to the bank flagging the checks as fraudulent and reversing the transaction. The involved banks, the “Plays,” and the initial victim whose checks were stolen, were left paying losses and overdraft fees while Post and Skulstad made off with the cash.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on the most serious indictment count and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Fairbanks Resident Agency of the FBI’s Anchorage Field Office, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks Police Department, Anchorage Police Department and the Vancouver, Washington, Police Department are investigating the case. The FBI’s Phoenix Field Office also assisted in the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.