PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man pleaded guilty today for his role in a fraud scheme whereby he and a co-conspirator would steal mail from residential mailboxes and use stolen personal identification information to defraud local banks.
Demontae Sanders, 48, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud and mail theft.
According to court documents, beginning on an unknown date and continuing until at least July 7, 2020, Sanders and an accomplice, Latanya Jenkins, 50, also of Portland, conspired with one another to steal mail from residential mailboxes throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area. Sanders and Jenkins stole checks, credit cards, and other personal identity information that they used to impersonate victims and open accounts at several local credit unions and banks. Sanders and Jenkins used the accounts to defraud these financial institutions.
To further their scheme, Sanders and Jenkins communicated with one another by text and used the internet at Jenkins’ residence to open several bank accounts using stolen information. Sanders and Jenkins collected hundreds of stolen financial documents including bank statements, checks, tax returns, U.S. Passports, and other government-issued identification documents. The pair also stole and cashed an Economic Impact Payment check issued by the U.S. Treasury.
On September 24, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an 18-count indictment charging Sanders and Jenkins with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and mail theft.
Sanders faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison; a $1.25 million fine or twice his criminally derived gains, whichever is larger; and five years of supervised release. He will be sentenced on July 20, 2021 before U.S. District Court Judge Anna J. Brown.
As part of the plea agreement, Sanders has agreed to pay restitution in full to his victims as identified by the government and ordered by the court.
Jenkins is on pre-trial release pending a three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on June 8, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service jointly investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Uram is prosecuting the case.