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Press Release

Wisconsin and Missouri Residents Sentenced to Prison for Bank Fraud

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

Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on September 28 and October 4, 2023, respectively, Senior United States District Judge William C. Griesbach sentenced both Jimmy A. Walker (age: 30) and Marialuwisa A. Prado (age: 26) to 14 months’ imprisonment and 3 years’ supervised release after they pled guilty to bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344.

According to court records, Prado is a Wisconsin resident, and Walker resides in Missouri. In May 2022, while Prado was working for a private mail-sorting business in Brookfield, Wisconsin, she stole mail that contained a check in the amount of $600,263.55. The check had been written by a Wisconsin corporation, and was made payable to another Wisconsin corporation, for business-related services. It never reached the intended recipient. Instead, Prado sent the stolen check by FedEx to Walker in Missouri, who had previously set up a sham bank account under the name of the Wisconsin business. Walker opened the account at a bank branch in Olivette, Missouri, and then drove to a different branch of the same bank in nearby Ballwin, Missouri, where he deposited the stolen check. Fortunately, bank officials flagged the transaction and prevented any funds from being unlawfully withdrawn.

In sentencing both defendants, Judge Griesbach cited the significant dollar value at issue, the potential economic loss to the businesses and banks, the defendants’ planning and scheme, and the breach of trust in stealing mail from Prado’s former employer. The judge reasoned that although both defendants lacked a criminal record, the offense warranted significant punishment and a strong deterrent message.

“The prison sentences in this case were the direct result of excellent collaboration between local and federal law enforcement,” stated U.S. Attorney Haanstad. “Law enforcement’s work – and the attentive bank employees who flagged the transaction – directly prevented the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars and ensured that these defendants are serving prison sentences instead of reaping the benefits of their criminal conduct.”

The case was investigated by the Oshkosh Police Department and the Green Bay office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from law enforcement agencies in the State of Missouri. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy W. Funnell.

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Updated October 5, 2023