Informational: Federal Court Arraignments
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on December 1, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, the following individuals were arraigned:
ERIN STEWART, a 50-year-old resident of Billings, appeared on charges of credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. He is currently detained. If convicted of these charges, STEWART faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release. In addition, STEWART faces an additional mandatory two year imprisonment, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Secret Service and the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office.
KIMBERLY JEAN PALMER, a 50-year-old resident of Gresham, Oregon, appeared on charges of wire fraud and credit card fraud. She is currently released on special conditions. If convicted of these charges, PALMER faces possible penalties of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad is the prosecutor for the United States. The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Helena Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The defendants pled not guilty to the charges.
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and any person named as a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. A pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set and the United States will be required to prove the allegations set forth in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.