KC Man Sentenced for Bank Fraud Conspiracy
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a bank fraud conspiracy in which he operated a flop house where he paid drug addicts for stolen identity information that was used to create counterfeit checks.
Tyler Sutton, 55, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to eight years and four months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Sutton to pay $39,927 in restitution to his victims.
On Sept. 19, 2016, Sutton pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud, possession of counterfeit checks, possession of stolen mail, and identity theft. Sutton also pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Sutton led a crime wave in his northeast Kansas City neighborhood. Sutton was a property manager residing in the 400 block of Gladstone Boulevard, although he only paid rent for one month and was evicted in October 2014. He used the house to conduct his illegal business by operating it as a flop house where he offered cash and/or drugs to drug addicts who brought him stolen mail, identities, addresses, credit card numbers and bank account information. Sutton often allowed the addicts to stay at the residence.
Sutton also unlawfully obtained identity and account information belonging to other persons and businesses by stealing these items from businesses and from the mail. Sutton and co-conspirators used the stolen identity information to create counterfeit identifications and checks, which were cashed at retail stores and financial institutions.
Court documents state that, besides the banks and merchants who accepted the counterfeit and stolen checks, people who lived in Sutton’s neighborhood were victimized by his crimes. Because Sutton used his rental home as a flop house to attract addicts and paid them to commit crimes, the neighborhood was rife with drug, property, and sometimes more violent crime. Between July 16, 2013, to July 9, 2014, police were dispatched to Sutton’s residence an incredible 73 times for a wide variety of crimes, such as disturbances, residential burglaries, suspicious parties, stolen autos, forgeries and a dead body (a drug overdose).
Sutton did not usually create counterfeit identifications and checks himself, nor did he personally present counterfeit identifications and cash checks. Rather, he instructed others in the making and presenting of counterfeit identifications and checks, and shared the illegal proceeds with his co-conspirators. In this manner, Sutton attempted to insulate himself from liability.
Sutton admitted that the intended loss from the scheme totaled $83,980; the actual loss was $39,927.
Co-defendants Gary K. Keesler, 37, and Chad M. Mills, 28, both of Kansas City, Mo., and Christopher Hite, 34, of Windsor, Mo., have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and have been sentenced.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.