Former Weymouth Woman Indicted for Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
BOSTON – A former Weymouth woman was charged yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with a scheme to withdraw cash from bank accounts.
Sophiah Acloque, 33, was indicted on three counts of bank fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of theft of public mail. In June 2016, Acloque was charged by criminal complaint.
According to court documents, in December 2015, Bank of America contacted federal investigators after detecting a fraudulent debit card scheme. It is alleged that an individual(s) posed as bank customers living in Massachusetts and called Bank of America to request that new debit cards and PIN numbers be mailed to the residence of the account holder. It is also alleged that the newly issued cards were stolen from the mail and used to withdraw cash unbeknownst to the bank customers.
On Jan. 25, 2016, law enforcement identified Acloque as a participant in the debit card scheme when she was observed taking mail from the mail box of a Cambridge resident. The resident had not ordered a new card but had been advised by Bank of America that one had been ordered and was expected to arrive around January 25. A subsequent search of Acloque’s car revealed mail addressed to the Cambridge resident, including a Bank of America envelope containing an ATM card and a second envelope containing a PIN.
The indictment charges Acloque with the fraudulent use of Bank of America ATM cards to withdraw cash belonging to three account holders residing in Cambridge, Stoughton and Milton and with stealing mail, including an ATM card and PIN number, from the mail box of the Cambridge resident mentioned above.
The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides a mandatory sentence of two years in prison. The charge of theft of public mail provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Giselle J. Joffre of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.