California Man Pleads Guilty to $460,000 Fraud Scheme
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a California man pleaded guilty in federal court today to a nearly $460,000 bank fraud scheme that involved stolen checks and false identities.
Michael Keefe White, 61, of Winnetka, Calif., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.
By pleading guilty today, White admitted that he obtained checks stolen from the mail, then used counterfeit identification (such as driver’s licenses with his photo and the name of a victim) to open bank accounts in Missouri and other states in which to deposit the stolen checks as well as counterfeit checks modeled from the stolen checks. White then withdrew or wire transferred the money out of the account.
White used numerous counterfeit driver’s licenses to open bank accounts in a total attempted fraud amount of at least $459,896.
The specific bank fraud to which White pleaded guilty involved an account at a Parkville, Mo., bank in which White deposited a $48,700 counterfeit check. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, White must forfeit to the government $248,155, which represents the actual loss attributable to the fraud scheme.
Under federal statutes, White is subject to a sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison without parole for bank fraud and money laundering, plus a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Department of Treasury – Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspector Service.