Three-year Conspiracy Victimized Thousands of Bay Area Residents Causing Nearly $500,000 in Losses
9 April 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced that Moi Keospaseuth, 37, was sentenced late yesterday to 24 months in prison for conspiracy to steal and possess United States mail.
“Thousands of individuals were victimized by this conspiracy to steal mail and use information from that stolen mail to obtain credit cards and steal funds from bank accounts,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan. “This sentencing brings to a close the successful prosecution of one of the largest and most sophisticated postal theft schemes that has ever operated in the Bay Area.”
From 1999 until late 2002, the postal thieves broke into mail boxes by force as well as by use of counterfeit postal keys in cities throughout the Bay Area. They then carried off the stolen mail to their base of operations in the Richmond District of San Francisco where they organized the stolen mail to create libraries of confidential identity and financial information. The thieves then used this stolen information to obtain credit and fraudulently purchase goods and services. Before being broken up by law enforcement, the conspirators victimized thousands of postal customers in the Bay Area and created losses to credit card companies, banks, hotels, and other vendors of nearly $500,000.
According to the plea agreement, Mr. Keopaseuth admitted to conspiring with the other members of the conspiracy between 2001 and May 2002 to use information stolen by the other co-conspirators from locations around the Bay Area in order to purchase goods and services fraudulently. Among other overt acts, Mr. Keopaseuth used stolen credit card information to pay for hotel rooms and purchase computers and electronics. He also used a check stolen from the mails to make a partial payment on a BMW automobile. He admitted that his activity created substantial, actual economic loss of more than $70,000 to more than 50 victims. Mr. Keopaseuth entered into the plea agreement on November 23, 2004.
Mr. Keopaseuth, of Berkeley, was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 4, 2002, along with Kenneth Vernon, Chris Quitoriano, Mark Edward Hill, and Espie Cargado. Mr. Keopaseuth was charged with conspiring to steal and possess United States mail and thereafter use the identity and financial information obtained from the stolen mail to make fraudulent purchases of goods and services.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Martin J. Jenkins in San Francisco following a guilty plea to conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Judge Jenkins ordered Keopaseuth to pay restitution of $54,000 jointly and severally with the other co-conspirators, and sentenced him to serve a three year period of supervised release. The defendant will begin serving the sentence on June 9, 2005.
Judge Jenkins previously sentenced the four other members of this conspiracy, Kenneth Vernon, Chris Quitoriano, Espie Cargado, and Mark Edward Hill. All pled guilty via plea agreements and were sentenced to prison terms for their comparatively greater roles in the scheme.
The prosecution was the result of an exhaustive two year investigation by inspectors from the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Lucey prosecuted the case with the assistance of legal technician Ana Guerra.
A copy of this press release and related court filings may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can . Related court documents and information may be found on the U.S. District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on .
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov .