Four Houstonians Charged in a Bank Fraud Conspiracy Involving Stolen Mail and Identity Theft
|Dec. 11, 2012|
HOUSTON – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Dana Sue Hales, 41, Lindsay Ann Grice, 26, Jason Craig White, 32, and Joseph Scott Ryder, 44, all of Houston, with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and possessing stolen mail, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Hales and Grice were also charged with aggravated identity theft, while White and Ryder were also charged with illegally possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense.
All are expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in the near future. With the exception of Hales, all are currently in state custody.
According to the indictment, the defendants were able to acquire banking information and checks by burglary, theft and other means, and then use the stolen banking information to create fraudulent identification documents. The defendants used the fraudulent identification information and stolen banking information to open bank accounts into which the stolen, forged checks would be deposited, including a United States Treasury check for more than $7,000. In addition to the conspiracy count, the defendants are charged with possessing stolen mail on three occasions during 2012 and 10 separate counts of bank fraud.
The indictment also alleges Hales and Grice used stolen identity information on several occasions while engaging in the fraudulent scheme.
All face up to 30 years in federal prison as well as a $1 million fine upon conviction of the conspiracy and bank fraud charges, while possession of stolen mail carries a possible punishment of up to five years imprisonment and a potential $250,000 fine. A conviction for aggravated identity theft carries a two-year sentence which must be imposed consecutively to any underlying felony offense in which the stolen identity information was used. White and Ryder further face another 10 years in prison and a $250,00 fine if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The matter was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Buchanan.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.