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Portland Man Sentenced to 36 Months for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft Schemes

David Jeffrey Chapman Used Fraudulent Checks to Purchase Postage Stamps, Which He Resold at Local Coin Shops

May 21, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman sentenced David Jeffrey Chapman, 39, of Portland, to 36 months in prison and five years supervised release, on Friday for orchestrating a bank fraud and identity theft scheme in the Portland area. Previously, Judge Mosman sentenced Chapman's co-defendant, Charity Anne Thometz, 37, also of Portland, to 30 months in prison and five years of supervised release for the same schemes. Judge Mosman ordered Chapman and Thometz to pay $14,599.30 in restitution to the United States Postal Service, and $4,199.67 to U.S. Bank.

In December 2011, Chapman pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He admitted that from September 2010 through November 2010, he, Thometz, and others burglarized mail boxes, motel rooms, automobiles, and other locations to steal items, including mail, checks, financial information, personal information, and means of identification. He and Thometz used the stolen personal information to produce false identification documents, including driver licenses, and used the stolen financial information to produce fraudulent checks. He and Thometz then passed the fraudulent checks at various locations, including at United States post offices to purchase large amounts of stamps, which he would then resell at local coin shops. Chapman also orchestrated a "check-kiting" scheme, in which he would deposit fraudulent checks to his and others' bank accounts, to create an artificially-inflated balance in the account, and then withdraw funds from the account before the banks realized the checks on deposit were fraudulent.

Both Chapman and Thometz have lengthy criminal histories, including prior identity theft convictions. Chapman is a former European Kindred gang member. Both acknowledged at their respective sentencing hearings that they executed these schemes to fund their methamphetamine addictions.

"People should be able to trust that the mail delivered to their mailboxes will be there when they go to retrieve it, that their financial and personal information will not be stolen, and that their very identities are safe from thieves," said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. "We will prosecute and convict those who steal the good names and hard-earned money of others."

This case stemmed from an investigation by the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Gresham Police Department and Portland Police Bureau. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacie Beckerman.

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