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Press Release

San Antonio Man Sentenced for Bank Fraud

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

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for stealing mail and cashing fraudulent checks.

According to court documents, Zachary Wayne Crowell, 35, was part of a group who broke into mailboxes to steal checks, credit cards, identification documents, bank statements and other financial statements.  Checks were “washed” to remove the original payee’s name so that they could be deposited into accounts controlled by Crowell or his codefendant Brandon James Waggoner.  Funds were then withdrawn before the checks were returned as fraudulent.  Crowell also used stolen debit and credit cards to purchase firearms illegally in other people’s names.

On May 18, 2021, Crowell pleaded guilty to one count of Bank Fraud.  In addition to the prison sentence, Crowell was ordered to pay $39,743.62 in restitution and complete five years of supervised release after serving his sentence.

“Mailbox break-ins and postal theft are serious crimes that can create havoc as they often lead to further affronts such as fraud, financial loss and identity theft, as happened here,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “It is striking that Zachary Crowell illegally purchased guns as a result of breaking into mailboxes in this case. We will continue to work closely with our partners to investigate and prosecute these matters to the fullest extent of federal law.”

“Mail and Identity theft investigations remain a top priority for the Secret Service in our mission to protect the nation’s financial institutions and victims of fraud,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Paul Duran.  “The success in this case demonstrates our commitment to that mission and the collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners.”

“One of the top priorities of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is to protect and maintain the integrity of the U.S. Mail,” said Scott Fix, Inspector in Charge of the Houston Division of the USPIS.  “Postal Inspectors will work tirelessly to identify and arrest individuals like Zachary Wayne Crowell who choose to steal mail and use it to commit further crimes.  Today’s sentencing is the culmination of many hours of hard work by Postal Inspectors and our local law enforcement partners including the Texas Department of Public Safety, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and San Antonio Police Department, to identify and bring these individuals to justice.”

On October 5, 2021, codefendant Brandon James Waggoner pleaded guilty to one count of Bank Fraud.  He was sentenced on February 1, 2022, to time served, a five-year supervised release and ordered to pay $4,992 in restitution.

The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William R. Harris prosecuted the case.


Updated March 8, 2022

Financial Fraud