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Press Release

Serial Bank Robber Sentenced to Prison for Bank Fraud

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

DETROIT – A man previously convicted and imprisoned for four bank robberies was sentenced last week to 71 months in federal prison for stealing the identities of ten people to commit bank fraud, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge James Tarasca of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office.

Rynell Roberts, 39, of Redford, Michigan, was sentenced before Chief United States District Court Judge Sean F. Cox.  Court records show that Roberts was previously convicted of four bank robberies back in 2008.  During all of the bank robberies, Roberts threatened tellers with a firearm, even firing a pistol inside the bank during one of the robberies.  After being released from prison on the armed bank robbery charges, Roberts switched to fraud to steal from banks.    

According to court records, Roberts was sentenced for using stolen identifications to make approximately $119,000 in purchases at area retail stores. He admitted that he used the names and stolen personal identifiers of ten individuals to open fraudulent credit accounts to make these purchases.  As part of his sentence, Roberts was ordered to pay $119,000 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Ison stated, “Identification theft not only robs individuals of time and peace of mind, but it also causes unwarranted damage to the credit of law-abiding citizens. All consumers ultimately bear the costs of these crimes. My office remains committed to holding identity thieves accountable.”

“It is a misperception that identity theft is a victimless crime,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “Victims of this type of fraud can spend significant time and effort clearing up financial issues caused by the greed of these criminals and often causing a significant financial burden to the victim in the process. The FBI will continue to investigate these thieves and protect Michiganders from this type of criminal activity.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Philip A. Ross. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Blackmon Township and Grosse Isle Police Departments.

Updated September 20, 2022

Identity Theft