News and Press Releases

Springfield man sentenced for bank fraud conspiracy, counterfeiting

conspirators passed more than $100,000 in counterfeit checks, including greene county sheriff's dept.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a bank fraud conspiracy that involved false identification documents used to negotiate more than $100,000 in counterfeit checks, including thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent checks drawn on a Greene County Sheriff’s Department bank account.

John Dennis Sedersten, 34, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Monday, July 26, 2010, to two years and eight months in federal prison without parole. (The federal sentence is in addition to 266 days served in Crawford County, Kan., on a related case.) The court also ordered Sedersten to pay $82,355 in restitution.

On Feb. 19, 2010, Sedersten pleaded guilty to his role in a bank fraud conspiracy, as well as to counterfeiting checks and to transporting fraudulently taken property across state lines.

Sedersten admitted that, from May 2007 to Nov. 29, 2008, he participated in a conspiracy in Greene 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. Sedersten admitted that he manufactured and assisted in manufacturing counterfeit identification documents and checks for his co-conspirators. Some of the counterfeit checks bore fictitious account information, while others were drawn on actual accounts.

Sedersten used the counterfeit identification documents and checks on multiple occasions to fraudulently obtain property and money. Sedersten admitted that he fraudulently obtained more than $55,000 in property from merchants, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears and Wheeler Metals. Many of the counterfeit checks passed by Sedersten were drawn upon an actual bank account held by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

The interstate transportation of fraudulently taken property charge involved two trailers, both of which Sedersten admitted he acquired using an alias to negotiate counterfeit checks. At MO-KAN Trailer Sales in Asbury, Mo., on Nov. 11, 2008, Sedersten negotiated one counterfeit $5,370 check, drawn upon a bank account held by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, to purchase a Pace American trailer. On Nov. 15, 2008, he negotiated another counterfeit check, this one in the amount of $6,138, at the Lowe’s store in Joplin, Mo., to purchase a Carry-On trailer. That check was also drawn upon the Greene County Sheriff’s Department bank account.

Then, Sedersten, aided and abetted by others, transported the trailers to Kansas. On Nov. 19, 2008, Sedersten was arrested in Neosho County, Kan., in possession of the fraudulently taken trailers.

Sedersten and his co-conspirators obtained (or sought to obtain) $108,599 during the course of the conspiracy. The actual loss, taking into account the stolen property that has been recovered and returned to the owners, is $82,355.

Co-defendant Max R. Snodgrass, 32, of Springfield, was sentenced to four years and seven months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Snodgrass to pay $91,416 in restitution. On Feb. 5, 2010, Snodgrass pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy. Snodgrass also pleaded guilty to a separate and unrelated tax fraud.

Co-defendant Bryan Thomas Ray, 33, of Springfield, was sentenced on May 14, 2010, to four years and three months in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $82,955 in restitution. Ray pleaded guilty on Jan. 7, 2010, to his role in the conspiracy and to one count of aggravated identity theft. Ray also pleaded guilty in a separate and unrelated case to passing counterfeit $100 bills.

Co-defendant Karen Ann Harris, 46, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on May 26, 2010, to her role in the bank fraud conspiracy and awaits sentencing.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. They were investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Greene County, Mo. Sheriff’s Office.

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