Friday, December 14, 2018

Madera Woman Indicted for Credit Card Fraud, Bank Fraud, and Identity Theft

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment Thursday against Leah Guillen, 35, of Madera, charging her with use of unauthorized debit cards, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, in early 2018, Leah Guillen obtained the name, social security account number, and date of birth of a specific victim. Guillen then used this information to impersonate the victim and fraudulently gain access to her bank accounts at Golden 1 Credit Union. Using an unauthorized debit card, Guillen drained the victim’s bank accounts over a three-month period between April 18, 2018, and June 30, 2018, causing a loss in excess of $210,449.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Madera Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Withers is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of bank fraud, Guillen faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and she faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the use of unauthorized debit cards. If convicted of the aggravated identity theft, Guillen faces two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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