FRESNO, Calif. — Rogelio Benavides, 35, of Arvin, was sentenced Thursday to five years and five months in prison for bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Benavides was also ordered to pay over $20,000 in restitution and forfeit another $20,000 as part of his sentence.
Benavides pleaded guilty on Nov. 12, 2020. According to court documents, between November 2018 and September 2019, Benavides obtained hundreds of pieces of stolen mail that included checks, checkbooks, and personally identifiable information belonging to other individuals and businesses. He then altered and forged checks and either cashed or deposited the checks into his own bank accounts. He used personally identifiable information to apply for credit cards, which he used to make purchases and cash advances. He accessed bank accounts belonging to the other individuals and businesses and made payments for credit cards, loans, and insurance policies in his own name and the names of his associates. Benavides’ scheme caused more than $95,000 in fraudulent charges to be made to other individuals’ bank accounts and credit cards.
During the scheme, Benavides was found to have possessed a Glock Model 19, 9 mm pistol, which was illegal given his prior felony convictions.
This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vincente Tennerelli and Joseph Barton are prosecuting the case.
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