Criminal Justice News

Monday, May 07, 2012

St. Louis Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Conspiracy, and Identity Theft Charges

ST. LOUIS—Mario Darnell Smith pled guilty to charges involving his use of customer information to steal money from bank accounts at U.S. Bank.

According to the facts filed with the court, Jeffrey G. White was employed by U.S. Bank at a branch in St. Louis County. As part of his employment, White had access to customer account information, including account numbers for business accounts and names of persons associated with business accounts. Mario Darnell Smith was a friend and acquaintance of White. In the spring of 2011, Smith and White agreed that White would provide Smith with customer account information for customers of U.S. Bank, including business/commercial customers such as Ameren. White printed customer account information and provided that information to Smith. Typically, the corner of the printouts was torn off so that it would not indicate who accessed and printed the account information. After getting the customer account information, Smith registered phony Internet domain names to make it look as though he was sending e-mail from Ameren. Smith then used this information and attempted to obtain cash delivery services from an Ameren account at U.S. Bank.

On June 20, 2011, Smith contacted U.S. Bank and requested approximately $180,000 in cash pursuant to U.S. Bank cash vault services. Smith was arrested on June 20, 2011, and the bank fraud scheme was never completed.

Mario Darnell Smith pled guilty to one felony count of bank fraud, three felony counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud before United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel. Sentencing has been set for July 26, 2012.

Co-defendant Jeffrey White pled guilty in December to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and awaits sentencing.

Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million. Each count of aggravated identity theft carries a maximum of two years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 and the conspiracy count carries a maximum of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Regional Computer Crimes Education and Enforcement Group (RCCEEG), including detectives from the Chesterfield and Webster Groves Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorney John Bodenhausen and Stephen Casey are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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