Four Franklin County men indicted for mail theft and bank fraud scheme

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Missouri – Four men from Franklin County are now facing serious allegations of mail theft and engaging in bank fraud, marking a significant development in efforts to clamp down on financial crime in the region. The individuals, identified as Matthew Cahill, Donald Anderson, Harvey Hale, and Joshua Hopkins, have been indicted by the U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

The indictment, issued on February 21, lays out a detailed account of the allegations against the four men. They are accused of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud on multiple counts, and aggravated identity theft. Specifically, Cahill is charged with possession of stolen mail, a charge he shares with Hopkins, along with several counts of aggravated identity theft. Following their arrests, with Hopkins being detained most recently and pleading not guilty, the legal process is now in motion. Cahill, arrested on February 23, also entered a plea of not guilty. Meanwhile, Hale and Anderson, who were already in custody, are yet to make their court appearances.

The criminal activities described in the indictment allegedly began in February 2020. The accused are said to have stolen mail from various sources, including mailboxes, homes, and vehicles, across Franklin County. The stolen items consisted of checks, bank account details, and personal identifying information, which were then used to alter stolen checks or to manufacture counterfeit ones. These fraudulent checks were reportedly used to buy goods from local retailers or were cashed directly. The indictment also notes at least one instance where a bank account was fraudulently opened using the stolen information.

The legal ramifications of these alleged actions are significant. Charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud carry a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Aggravated identity theft comes with a mandatory two-year consecutive prison sentence and could include a fine of up to $250,000. For possession of stolen mail, the accused could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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