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home : state news : e-state news March 25, 2023

2/4/2023 10:17:00 AM
Mailbox Raider Is Sentenced To Prison For Bank Fraud

Department Of Justice
Press Release

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Phyllis Ann Garcia, 31, of Hudson, was sentenced February 2, 2023 to 54 months in prison for bank fraud and related charges, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Garcia was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after she completes her prison term and to pay $18,418.16 in restitution.

Michael C. Scherck, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), which oversees Charlotte, Sheriff Donald G. Brown II of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Alan C. Jones, of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief Reed Baer of the Hickory Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to court documents and court hearings, between 2020 and 2021, Garcia and her co-conspirators stole checks, money orders, credit cards, and other financial and personal identifying information (PII) of victims in Caldwell and Catawba Counties and used it to defraud banks and other financial institutions. Garcia obtained the victims’ PII, debit cards, credit cards, checks or money orders from the homes of acquaintances or stole them from residential and business mailboxes, an activity Garcia and her co-conspirators referred to as “mailboxing.” Garcia and her co-conspirators forged the victims’ signatures or altered the names on the stolen checks and money orders, cashed them, and split the proceeds. Court records show that Garcia and the co-conspirators also used victims’ debit cards and credit cards to make purchases or used the victims’ stolen PII to obtain credit cards in their names. According to court records, at least 247 individuals were victims of Garcia’s mail theft scheme. Law enforcement also determined that Garcia and her co-conspirators were responsible for the theft of at least 495 pieces of mail from residential and business mailboxes.

On August 31, 2022, Garcia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, access device fraud, and bank fraud. She is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making the announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI, USPIS, the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and the Hickory Police Department for their investigation of the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.

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