United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Fourth Person Pleads Guilty In Identity Theft Scheme
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
April 30, 2012
Docket #: 1:10-cr-00347-LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Brad William Hesse, 51, of Castro Valley, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and possession of an identity document making device.
According to court documents, Hesse and others created false checks and driver’s licenses in the names of other people and then cashed the checks at Safeway and Wal-Mart stores throughout California. The scheme was uncovered when police found equipment to make the phony checks and driver’s licenses during separate police actions at a motel in Clovis and at the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino in Coarsegold.
Hesse is the last person charged in this scheme to plead guilty. The three other defendants, all from Hayward, pleaded guilty to charges arising out of this scheme. Michelle Prince, 40, was sentenced on January 7, 2011 to 41 months in prison; Michael Ian Conway, 41, was sentenced on May 27, 2011 to 37 months in prison; and David Boyd Spivey, 39, was sentenced on August 18, 2011 to 35 months in prison.
Sentencing for Hesse is set for July 9, 2012, before United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and 15 years in prison for possession of the document making implement. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Secret Service; Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General; sheriff departments in Alameda County and Madera County; and police departments in Clovis, Calif. and McMinnville, Ore. Assistant United States Attorney Mark J. McKeon prosecuted the case.