SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a seven-count indictment Thursday against Roderick Rigmaiden, 37, and his wife Onjale Nettles, 32, both of Sacramento, charging them with mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. Rigmaiden is also charged with possession of stolen mail and possession of mail keys or locks.
According to court documents, Rigmaiden was in possession of stolen mail and mail keys or locks. From the stolen mail, Rigmaiden and Nettles then created fake identification cards showing the faces of Rigmaiden, Nettles, and other conspirators, but bearing the names and information of individuals whose identities had been stolen. Rigmaiden and Nettles used the stolen identities to purchase multiple vehicles from auto dealerships and obtain financing for those purchases. The vehicle purchases were typically accomplished by providing a down payment in the form of cash or an instrument that purported to be a check, cashier’s check, or other monetary instrument, and the remainder of the purchase price was secured by an auto loan. Typically, however, the monetary instrument presented for the down payment turned out to be fraudulent and no payments were ever made towards the auto loans.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot C. Wong is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Rigmaiden and Nettles face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for each count of mail fraud and a mandatory two-year sentence consecutive to any sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Rigmaiden further faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of stolen mail, and a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine for possession of a mail key or lock. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.