FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – Four men were sentenced to more than 10 years for bank fraud and stealing checks out of mailboxes, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Conner Eldridge.
The four individuals named below were all convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and possession of stolen mail, officials said.
- Shawn D. Cox, 31, of Prairie Grove received 36 months in prison.
- Christopher J. Evans, 31, of Colcord, Okla. received 24 months in prison.
- Spencer Mason, 34, of Bentonville received 37 months in prison.
- Erick Picker-Ramirez, 35, of Fayetteville received 18 months in prison.
All four convicts were ordered to pay $20,870 in restitution, according to Eldridge.
Eldridge commented, “Fraud and theft of mail are serious crimes that involve the personal finances of hard-working individuals and can have long lasting impacts on numerous victims. We remain committed to investigating and prosecuting those who perpetrate fraud and swindle others out of their hard-earned money.”
Springdale police in June 2014 began investigating reports of checks that were being stolen out of local residents’ mailboxes and being cashed and forged at banks throughout Northwest Arkansas. An investigation into the case led police to 705 McKinney St., the base of operation for the check-forging scheme, according to the Springdale Police Department.
Police, along with members of the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Service, served a warrant on the location and said they found computers, scanners, printers, stolen checks, stolen mail, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Police said the suspects were stealing checks out of mailboxes, altering them and cashing them at local banks. The suspects also made fake identification cards and fake checks, according to Springdale police.