OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
MAY 14, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD MAN SENTENCED FOR BANK FRAUD
CONSPIRACY, IDENTITY THEFT,
PASSING COUNTERFEIT $100 BILLS
PASSED MORE THAN $100,000 IN COUNTERFEIT CHECKS,
$13,300 IN COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today in two separate cases that charge him with an identity theft and check-counterfeiting conspiracy and with passing counterfeit $100 bills in Springfield. The bank fraud scheme involved false identification documents that were used to negotiate more than $100,000 in counterfeit checks. The counterfeiting scheme involved $13,300 in counterfeit $100 bills.
Bryan Thomas Ray, 33, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this afternoon to four years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Ray to pay $82,955 in restitution.
On Jan. 7, 2010, Ray pleaded guilty to the charges contained in two separate federal indictments. Ray admitted that, from April 13 to Nov. 29, 2008, he participated in a conspiracy in Greene and Jasper County, Mo., to steal checking account information and personal identity information from various victims. That information was used to produce counterfeit identification documents (such as driver’s licenses) and counterfeit personal, business and organizational checks that were cashed or used to make purchases. Some of the counterfeit checks were drawn on actual accounts, while others bore fictitious account information.
Ray used a counterfeit driver’s license with a false identity to attempt to cash a $1,175 fraudulent check at a Springfield Staples store on Sept. 27, 2008. The check was from a checkbook stolen from a residence in Ozark, Mo., in a home burglary nine days earlier. However, the clerk at the Staples store knew the identity theft victim and knew that Ray was an imposter. The clerk called the police and Ray fled from the store. When a detective from the Springfield Police Department apprehended him in the parking lot, Ray attempted to destroy the forged check by chewing and swallowing it. Police officers seized several items from Ray’s vehicle that are commonly used to create counterfeit identification documents.
When law enforcement officers attempted to make contact with individuals suspected to be involved in identity theft and bank fraud on Oct. 28, 2008, Ray fled from the residence on foot. He left parked in front of the residence a GMC Yukon SUV that had been provided to him by a co-defendant. Law enforcement officers seized 25 counterfeit Missouri driver’s licenses and non-driver’s identification cards bearing photographs of Ray from the GMC Yukon.
Ray, who also pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft, admitted that co-conspirators obtained $108,599 during the conspiracy.
In a separate and unrelated case, Ray also pleaded guilty to passing counterfeit $100 bills as charged in a second federal indictment. Ray admitted that he passed (or assisted co-defendant Jason Allen Hamann, 36, address unknown, to pass) $13,300 in counterfeit currency. He also admitted that he passed three counterfeit $100 bills at the Just for Him store in Springfield on Feb. 14, 2008.
Hamann was sentenced on July 16, 2009, to three years and 10 months in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to manufacturing and passing counterfeit currency.
Co-defendants John Dennis Sedersten, 34, and Max R. Snodgrass, 32, both of Springfield, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the bank fraud conspiracy and await sentencing. Sedersten also pleaded guilty to counterfeiting checks and to transporting fraudulently taken property across state lines.
Co-defendant Kirsten Rena Kraichely, 28, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to possessing a counterfeit $100 bill and was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay restitution. Kraichely admitted that she obtained the counterfeit currency from Hamann, whom she knew was manufacturing counterfeit currency.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven M. Mohlhenrich and Randall D. Eggert. They were investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Green County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the police departments of Springfield, Joplin, Rogersville and Branson, Mo.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at