Contra Costa woman pleads guilty to federal bank fraud, mail theft cases

Contra Costa woman pleads guilty to federal bank fraud, mail theft cases

Sacramento – The US Justice Department said Tuesday that a 27-year-old Contra Costa woman pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud and possession of stolen US mail.

Desiree Bello filed her plea on Monday and is to be sentenced on October 25. He is in federal custody.

In a news release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California said that between April and August 2020, Bello and 29-year-old co-defendant Richard Waters III committed a mail theft and bank robbery throughout Northern California, according to court documents. Fraud plan. . The pair stole mail from residential mailboxes and stole bank cards, identification documents, financial information, checks, and personally identifiable information for use in fraudulent activity.

Bello used the victims’ information to obtain money and assets from banks and businesses, the release said.

On several occasions, according to the release, Bello used documents and financial means of some of the victims to purchase and lease vehicles from car dealerships. In one case, on June 25, 2020, he visited a Hyundai dealership in Stockton to lease a new Genesis G80 using a stolen identity.

After paying $7,000 with a check in the victim’s name, Bello submitted a lease application using the victim’s name, date of birth, driver’s license number and Social Security number. When the dealership approved his application, he drove the new G80, which cost around $55,490.

At least twice in May 2020, Bello knowingly stole US mail. During an arrest at Folsom on May 11, 2020, officers found more than 300 pieces of mail stolen from him. A week later, on May 18, 2020, he was arrested in El Dorado Hills, where officers found five large garbage bags of mail, which he and another man had stolen from a residential compound minutes earlier.

The release did not say whether she was out on bail or was released on her identity in the midst of her arrest.

Bello faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud, and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possessing stolen U.S. mail, sentenced by US District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller. have to do. The discretion of the court will determine his actual sentence after considering applicable statutory factors and federal sentencing guidelines.

The lawsuit against Waters is ongoing.

Staff writer George Kelly contributed to this report.