Southern Illinois Man Sentenced to More Than Eleven Years for Aggravated Identity Theft Schemes, Mail Theft, and Gun Charge
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Paul Edward Rutkowski, 38, formerly of Marion, Illinois, was sentenced today to more than 11 years in prison by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Rutkowski pled guilty to a six-count indictment charging him with two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of mail fraud, one count of bank fraud, possession of stolen mail, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
In December, 2010, Rutkowski used the personal identifying information of multiple victims to open credit accounts with “Bill Me Later,” an online creditor. He used those accounts to purchase items for himself on Ebay, an online marketplace. Rutkowski also orchestrated a separate identity theft scheme using mail that he stole from victims’ mailboxes. Rutkowski found checks in the stolen mail then deposited fraudulent and forged checks into fraudulent bank accounts he opened using victims’ personal information. He spent the money he stole through the forged and fraudulent check deposits on himself. At the time of his arrest, Rutkowski, who already had felony convictions on his record, also possessed a handgun.
Rutkowski was sentenced to an 11 year and 3 month term of imprisonment, a 5 year term of supervised release, and was ordered to pay more than $19,000 in restitution plus $600 in special assessments. Rutkowski is currently serving a prison sentence with the Illinois Department of Corrections at the Menard Correctional Center for unrelated forgery and methamphetamine charges. Rutkowski’s federal sentence will run consecutively to his state sentence, thus he will not begin serving his federal sentence until after the termination of the sentence imposed by the State of Illinois.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Marion, Illinois Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Katherine L. Lewis.