Florida Resident Pleads Guilty to Mail Theft Related to Fraud Scheme Targeting Financial Institutions
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pembroke Pines, Florida pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of theft of mail, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Cassio Orville Donald Slowden, age 27, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Arthur Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in February 2019, Citizens Bank replacement debit cards and PIN reminders were fraudulently ordered for several customers in McMurray, Pennsylvania. On the afternoon of February 11, U.S. mail was delivered to the mailbox of one of the residences in McMurray. Shortly after, Slowden removed several pieces of mail from the mailbox and drove away from the residence. Slowden’s vehicle was stopped by law enforcement, and a search of the vehicle recovered stolen mail, including the Citizens Bank replacement debit card and PIN reminder taken from the mailbox of the McMurray residence.
The Court was further advised that Citizens Bank, Bank of America, and other financial institutions were victims of an ongoing multistate fraud scheme. The scheme involved one or more callers contacting banks and impersonating customers. The caller would order replacement debit cards and debit card PIN reminders to the customer’s address on file. The suspects would intercept the cards and use them to make fraudulent ATM withdrawals. Slowden is connected to at least $116,277.19 in losses related to fraudulent withdrawals from accounts of at least 12 Citizens Bank and Bank of America customers.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for January 28, 2020. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.