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Press Release

Fresno Man Sentenced to Over Five Years in Prison for Using Elderly Victim’s Identity to Steal to Steal Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

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

FRESNO, Calif. — Brian Stoffel, 38, of Fresno, was sentenced today to five years and four months in prison for bank fraud and identity theft for stealing money from an elderly victim’s bank accounts and getting fraudulent loans in the victim’s name, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between September 2020 and August 2021, Stoffel obtained the personally identifiable information for an elderly victim and used it to drain the victim’s savings and apply for loans in the victim’s identity. This included a Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) loan for disaster assistance related to a wildfire. Stoffel’s scheme resulted in a loss of $420,000. He used the proceeds for personal expenses, including to buy a new motorcycle, attend an NFL playoff game, and make purchases at retail stores.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Elder Abuse Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Barton prosecuted the case.

Updated February 6, 2023

Disaster Fraud
Identity Theft