11/05/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/05/2019 14:00
BOSTON - A Milton man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with schemes to use false identification documents to obtain funds from bank customers' accounts.
Fesnel Lafortune, 30, of Milton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Douglas P. Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Feb. 18, 2020. Lafortune was charged in June 2019.
In April 2017, an unindicted co-conspirator obtained two bank checks totaling more than $340,000 from a Santander Bank customer's account, using a fraudulent passport and credit card in the customer's name. Lafortune deposited one of the checks in the amount of $175,500 to a business bank account he had opened using a false name, date of birth and Social Security number. Within days of depositing the check, Lafortune withdrew nearly $30,000 in cash in three transactions at three different bank branches. In June 2017, LaFortune used a second false identity of a real person to open two more business bank accounts, into which other co-conspirators wired more than $200,000. LaFortune withdrew about $165,000 from those accounts in cash and checks. The loss to banks totaled about $200,000.
The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a two year mandatory minimum sentence, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office; and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leslie A. Wright and Mark J. Balthazard of Lelling's Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the cases.