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Press Release

Billings felon sentenced to more than five years in prison for bank fraud, aggravated ID theft, illegal possession of firearm

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

BILLINGS — A Billings man with seven prior felony convictions was sentenced on March 7 to five years and five months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for using a stolen bank card to make unauthorized purchases and for illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said today.

James Kendall Wiles, 42, pleaded guilty in November 2023 to bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and prohibited person in possession of firearms and ammunition.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court also ordered Wiles to pay $4,439 restitution.

In court documents, the government alleged that in September 2022, a victim, identified as Jane Doe 2, notified the Billings Police Department that her bank card had been stolen from her vehicle and successfully used by someone to make purchases around Billings. An investigation found that Wiles used the stolen bank card at Walmart to purchase a pre-paid gift card for $504. Later, in December 2022, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper observed Wiles stealing property from a vehicle in Billings. The trooper attempted a traffic stop of Wiles’ vehicle but stopped his pursuit because of safety concerns. Police officers found Wiles a short time later outside of a friend’s apartment and learned that Wiles had asked to store a few things in the residence because he was being chased. Officers located two semi-automatic pistols and various rounds of ammunition. One of these pistols was reported stolen from the vehicle the trooper had seen Wiles breaking into. Wiles had seven prior felony convictions and was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The FBI and Billings Police Department conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated March 8, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-63