MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A federal jury in St. Paul found a 40-year-old Oakdale man guilty of stealing mail and using it to make bank accounts and get cash, authorities said.
The United States Department of Justice said a jury convicted Ricky W. Mariano (aka Ricky William Scharrer) of this list of charges: two counts of theft and stealing mail; two counts of destroying mailboxes; one count of bank fraud conspiracy; one count of bank fraud; and one count of identity theft.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Mariano stole from mailboxes in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties between July 2010 and July 2011. Mariano would use the mail to obtain the personal information and financial instruments, such as checks and credit cards.
Mariano, and the others working with him, would then get funds from victims by a method called “check washing,” which involves chemically erasing certain information from checks while retaining other information, like routing and bank account numbers.
Mariano faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on each count of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy, five years for each count of mail theft, three years for each count of mailbox destruction, and a mandatory minimum penalty of two years for each count of identity theft, the Justice Department said.