Stockton Woman Charged With ID Theft And Fraud Offenses
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Frances Marie Charles, 35, of Stockton, was arraigned today on seven counts of aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, access device fraud, and possession of 15 or more identification documents, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, between June 2012 and December 2013, Charles participated in a scheme to obtain replacement American Express credit cards in the names and account numbers of others, and to use the credit cards to obtain cash, goods, and services at the expense of American Express, banks, and merchants. Charles placed calls to American Express and used identification and financial information of victims to cause the replacement cards to be sent to Stockton, after which the cards would be used to make fraudulent charges and purchases.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher S. Hales is prosecuting the case. Charles is scheduled to appear before United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley on April 3, 2014, for a status conference.
If convicted, Charles faces maximum statutory penalties of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each mail fraud count, 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for access device fraud, 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of 15 or more identification documents, and not less than two years imprisonment for each aggravated identity theft count, consecutive to time on conviction for the underlying mail fraud counts. 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 defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.