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Press Release

Shasta County Man Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Identity Theft Committed as Part of a Mail Theft and Bank Fraud Scheme

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — William Lee Ashley, 37, of Anderson, pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, between December 2017 and March 2018, Ashley committed a scheme to steal identities and defraud banks. During this scheme, Ashley broke into residential mailboxes throughout Northern California and stole U.S. mail containing bankcards, personal and business checks, and personally identifiable information of mail-theft victims. He then fraudulently activated and used bankcards to withdraw cash at ATMs and make purchases at retail establishments. Ashley also forged and altered stolen checks and deposited them into bank accounts under his control. On March 9, 2018, when he was arrested in Anderson, he possessed stolen mail and a U.S. Postal Service lock that he intended to use to facilitate this scheme.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Anderson Police Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.

Ashley is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on June 13, 2019. Ashley faces a mandatory statutory term of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft and a fine up to $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

Updated March 15, 2019

Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 2:19-cr-031-MCE