Minnesota man Pleads Guilty to Fraud and ID Theft

Jeffrey Scott Graham appeared before United States Court Judge Joan Ericksen in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 9th. Graham who is 52, from Shakopee, Minnesota pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft and one count of wire fraud in the federal court. The charges stem from an August 5, 2008 indictment in which Graham was charged with defrauding a mortgage lending institution.

Mr. Graham in his plea confessed to submitting fraudulent loan applications in May of 2007 in order to obtain thirty eight thousand dollars in loan proceeds for his Splash Water Sports News business which is located in Shakopee, Minnesota.

Mr. Graham in order to obtain the funds from the lending institution applied for the loan using the social security number of another individual. The individual had no knowledge of Mr. Graham nor had the individual given Mr. Graham consent to use his identity.

Mr. Graham did not stop at defrauding this single institution; he also has confessed to submitting twenty six lease agreements to companies that lease credit card processing equipment. He used social security numbers of other individuals who had no knowledge of the lease agreements or Mr. Graham. The individual did not provide consent to Mr. Graham to use their identity. Mr. Graham forged all the signatures required for both the lending institution and the lease agreements to the credit card processing companies.

The losses are estimated to have cost the companies involved between two hundred thousand dollars and four hundred thousand dollars. The federal government believes the victims in the case include at least ten and possible more.

United States Attorney B. Todd Jones commented after the sentence that Identity theft and financial fraud often go hand in hand and cause not only economic loss to business around the country but years of aggravation for the individual victims who must rebuild their identities after their good names and credit have been destroyed.

Mr. Graham’s case not only included individuals in Minnesota but victims outside the state as well. The federal law enforcement along with State and local government agencies has been extremely instrumental in bringing Mr. Graham to justice.

United States District Court Judge Erickson will determine the sentencing for Mr. Graham at a later date however the maximum sentence for his crime is twenty years in federal prison for wire fraud and a mandatory two year sentence for identity theft.

The case was investigated by the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, The United States Postal Inspection Service, the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnetonka Police Department and the Shakopee Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney David M. Genrich is prosecuting the case.

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