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Press Release

Bakersfield Man Sentenced in Bank Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Edgar Alexander Gomez, 42, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill to two years and one day in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Gomez also was ordered to pay restitution for damage he caused to U.S. Postal Service facilities in connection with his criminal scheme. He pleaded guilty on May 31, 2016.

San Francisco Division Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service stated, “Postal Inspectors worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those individuals responsible for thefts of mail and Identity theft crimes committed against the public.”

According to court documents, between July and September 2012, Gomez stole identity documents from the U.S. Mail, such as driver’s licenses, social security cards, and credit and debit cards. On several occasions, he attempted to open bank accounts at federally insured financial institutions using the identities of people whose mail he had stolen. In connection with one of these attempts to fraudulently open bank accounts, Gomez attempted to negotiate a check after forging the payee’s signature.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher D. Baker and Megan Richards prosecuted the case.

Co-defendant Jennifer Barthel, 37, also of Bakersfield, previously was sentenced to time-served for her role in the conspiracy. Co-defendant Augustine Castro Salazar, 48, also of Bakersfield, previously pleaded guilty to theft of U.S. mail, admitting that he and Gomez on five occasions in August 2012 broke open and stole mail from mail boxes at several U.S. Postal Service facilities in Bakersfield. Salazar is awaiting sentencing.

Updated November 6, 2017

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 1:15-cr-105-LJO