U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
District of Minnesota

December 9, 2010

Three Indicted for Aggravated Identity Theft, Bank Fraud

A recent federal indictment alleges that three Minnesotans used stolen identification information to create counterfeit checks to obtain cash and items from financial institutions and retail outlets. The indictment, which was filed on December 7, 2010, charges Kari Lynn Goodman, age 40, of Savage, and Nathan Allen Miller, age 26, of Isanti, with one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, one count of bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Michelle Rae Schneider, age 35, of Minneapolis, was also charged with one count of conspiracy. The indictment was unsealed yesterday, following Goodman’s initial appearance in federal court in the District of Minnesota.

The indictment alleges that from December of 2006 through February of 2009, the defendants conspired to commit bank fraud, identity fraud, and aggravated identity theft in order to obtain money and property. The defendants allegedly obtained identification information from stolen mail and stolen checks, and then used that information to produce false identification and counterfeit checks. Subsequently, they purportedly presented the identification and counterfeit checks to retailers to purchase items or submitted them.

Specifically, on December 13, 2006, in New Brighton, Goodman and Miller possessed checks and means of identification of numerous people without their knowledge or permission. On March 22, 2008, Goodman presented a fraudulent driver’s license and a counterfeit check to a Roseville business in an attempt to purchase merchandise. On July 31, 2008, Schneider cashed a forged counterfeit check at Bremer Bank, while on August 3, 2008, Goodman presented a fraudulent driver’s license and two counterfeit checks at an Owatonna store. On September 20, 2008, Schneider obtained money at Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee with fraudulent identification. On December 1, 2008, at a Bloomington hotel, Miller and Schneider possessed fraudulent identification along with counterfeit checks and driver’s licenses.

If convicted, all three defendants face a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge. In addition, Goodman and Miller face a potential maximum penalty of 30 years on the bank fraud charge and a mandatory minimum penalty of two years on the aggravated identity theft charge. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other state and local law enforcement agencies. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Otteson.

The Financial Crimes Task Force was established pursuant to State law. It is comprised of local, State, and federal law enforcement investigators, who work to combat the growing trend of cross-jurisdictional financial crimes. The Task Force is overseen by an advisory board, also created pursuant to State law.

The USPIS and the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office want to remind people to protect themselves from identity theft. For more information, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov/protect-identity.html.

This law enforcement action is in part sponsored by the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. It includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

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