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May 3, 2011

HOUSTON MAN CONVICTED OF BANK FRAUD AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT

(HOUSTON) - After a four-day trial, a federal jury has found Nathaniel Shoulders Jr. guilty of all counts – bank fraud, making false statements to banks and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The jury returned its verdicts on Friday evening, April 29, 2011.
  
Shoulders, 39, of Houston, was accused and now stands convicted of applying for a fraudulent $250,000 commercial line of credit in the name of his business, RKE Enterprises Inc. In connection with the loan, Shoulders misrepresented the assets of his company and signed another man’s name as the guarantor on the loan.  The fraud was discovered by a bank employee, who contacted the United States Postal Inspection Service. After a year-long investigation, including forensic document analysis, law enforcement was able to determine Shoulders had committed the crime and clear the man whose name had been listed as guarantor on the loan.

”Postal Inspectors have protected the integrity of the mail for more than two centuries, and we won't hesitate to pursue criminals who misuse the mail to conduct any crimes, including identity theft,” said Postal Inspector in Charge Gary Barksdale of the agency's Houston Division. “These crimes are often devastating for victims and many suffer for years from the damage inflicted on their reputations and their ability to obtain credit. The jury's decision should send a strong message to anyone who is considering using mail to commit any criminal scheme.”

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal, who presided over the trial, has set sentencing for Aug. 30, 2011. Shoulders faces 20 years in prison for the bank fraud charge and two years additional prison time for the aggravated identity theft charge. Shoulders will remain on bond pending sentencing.  

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Andino Reynal and Julie Searle are prosecuting the case.

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