OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 19, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK FRAUD CONSPIRACY, COUNTERFEITING
CONSPIRATORS PASSED MORE THAN $100,000
IN COUNTERFEIT CHECKS, INCLUDING
GREENE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to 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, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to the 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, pleaded guilty on Feb. 5, 2010, to his role in the conspiracy. Snodgrass also pleaded guilty to a separate and unrelated tax fraud case.
Co-defendant Bryan Thomas Ray, 32, of Springfield, 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.
Under federal statutes, Sedersten is subject to a sentence of up to 50 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1.5 million and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
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.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at