MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ten people have been indicted on charges that they stole from mail boxes and used personal information to forge checks.

The defendants range in age from 18 to 40.

Spokesperson Jeanne Cooney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis says the thieves used a technique known as “check washing”.

“They used a chemical to erase certain details from checks while retaining other information, such as the bank account numbers and the routing numbers,” she said.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

The stolen information was used to make purchases across the Twin Cities and Wisconsin.

If convicted in the conspiracy, the defendants could face up to 30 years in prison.

Comments (37)
  1. Dave says:

    Thanks to KARE11:

    The indictment charges Ricky W. Mariano, age 40, of Oakdale; Sarrah M. Vail, age 40; James Edward Freeman, age 19; and Vincent Robert Vail, age 18, all of White Bear Lake; James N. Hahne, age 35, and Clifton G. Evans, Jr., age 33, both of St. Paul; Benjamin J. Dolan, age 35, and Anne Marie Vail, age 46, both of Vadnais Heights; Jamie Marie Sylvester, age 34, of North St. Paul; and Jacob Charles Dutton, age 28, of Minneapolis, with one count of theft and receipt of stolen mail and one count of bank fraud conspiracy.

    1. Iconoclast says:

      They should be given 6 months probation,make partial restitution & not have theri record blemished for a simple property crime..it was a non-violent offense,no harm done.

      1. clara says:

        To Iconoclast: No harm done….whatever are you talking about. What about the people whose bank accounts and checks were stolen. In these horrible economic times, who can afford to have even $1.00 taken from their accounts. Are you living on welfare and have so much money that someone can take from you. Get real!

  2. Iconoclast says:

    Death Penalty.

    This was not just some “mistake” and it is not just a reaction to a bad economy. These people are soulless criminals and enemies of the human race.

    1. TheTruth says:

      You know you dont know these kids!! These kids were simply subject to the bidding of the older adults!!! A family friend was there when on of these kids was arrested he told me the last thing that kid said before taken was “MOM, I LOVE YOU” Get a life you loser who condemns people without knowing them and their situation do you have a wife family kids what if one of you kids got mixed up in this bad stuff!!! Does that mean he/she doesnt have a soul!!! Exactly sooo shut up!

      1. M says:

        Last time I checked 18 was an adult not a kid. They are all 18 or over. Don’t give them a cop out. WRONG is WRONG. People need to take responsibility for their actions. And TRUST me at 18 I knew forging a check was not right. If someone was trying to force me to do this I would have gone to the police. No excuses here. Sorry.

        1. TheTruth says:

          You know what drugs changes things!! One from what I know may not have a mentalstability anymore! Quite saying these thin not only does it hurt the family of these people who read this. You dont understand what drugs can do it flipped his entire view on everything!!!A long time ago when he was 12-13 he had some people who introduced drugs to him and that started an entire chain to lead to this. Also these kids are not legally kids but in his mind he is a child nothing more becuase of drugs!! One mistake flipped things! I agree wrong is wron but one mistake years ago doesnt deserve this!!! Its not forcing him as people but drugs forced these kids!!!

          1. Iconoclast says:

            Drugs change nobody. It just means they’re criminals willing to prey on others and victimize anybody they want. It’s not a mistake. It’s a way of life.

            Get a rope.

      2. gloria lawler says:

        if a kid does not know right from wrong before they are 18, it is the responsibility of the parents to guide them. AFTER they are 18, if they are wrong, other people (judges, cops, county attorneys, etc) and institutions (jail, court, prison) will guide them. AFTER they are 18, it is too late for them to start to say they did not know.

      3. clara says:

        You are forgetting the victims………..This is not about the criminals. That’s what is wrong with our Country. Slaps on wrist. Does not work, they do it again.

      4. ?? says:

        i personally know vinny and james freeman they are bad people who deserve to be locked up if you only knew the crimes they have done!

    2. Jeff Prager says:

      Why can white collar criminals get away with a 12 trillion dollar robbery of the American people and morons like you think these petty criminals are enemies of the human race?

      Think about that. The banks repay individual depositors if their accounts are fraudulently accessed. It’s the banks that lose, not individual people. These scammers are American heroes willing to steal back from the banks that robbed us all. People like you are ignorant and uneducated regarding the financial manipulations that huge private banks engage in. You deserve what America has become at the hands of private banksters because you’re just not very well informed.

  3. me says:

    should be 3000 years in jail

    1. TheTruth says:

      Get a life do you have anything better to do with your life than be an ass and judgemental of people you dont know!!

  4. Realist04 says:

    Who still writes checks?

    1. 2v says:

      i guess these guys were trying to write checks…the real questions is this: who still takes checks?

  5. dan says:

    I thought the story was going to be about Obama and his cronies trying to write checks against the account that is overdrawn!

    1. Mike says:

      I am surprised you were able to write such a quip with a pair of testicles hanging off your face.

  6. Life says:

    I hope they get life. People that still peoples personal stuff should rot. Actually I still wright checks because to many smart people that can hack into computers. I have a lock on my mailbox so no one else can get into it except me and mailman.

    1. TheTruth says:

      Learn to spel things before you comment!! You dont know these kids!! Also you are straight up paranoid!

      1. Iconoclast says:

        I wouldn’t want them as my neighbors, would you?

        Maybe they’d accidentally take your stuff too.

    2. Jeff Prager says:

      Learn how to spell you moron

  7. TheTruth says:

    You all need to shut up! These people have souls you have no right to judge!! A family friend closely knows one of these kids!! This kid did not deserve this when he was in middle school his dumb family members choose to get him mixed up in drugs he was 13 he was young and impressionable!! He made mistakes true but, he does not deserve to be condemned for it!! He was switching his life around this year he started staying in he was enrolling in school these are people anyone who condemns them should go to hell!!

    1. Guy says:

      He (and the rest) deserves to be EXECUTED. Get rid of them & we won’t have to worry about them “turning their life around” … no life no worry.

      1. TheTruth says:

        Gr8 lets say the same about you!!!

    2. The Architect says:

      There is no rehabilitation for someone willing to destroy other people’s lives to make a fast buck. Sorry. They’re career criminals.

      Execute them all.

    3. What a Joke says:

      bang bang!!

  8. Life says:

    The Truth~ I think you need to learn how to spell! Also I may not know these people or kids whatever but I do not feel sorry for them they knew what they were doing was wrong. It’s a choices we make in life and they made there choices in life.

    1. TheTruth says:

      Then you shouldn’t comment if its THEIR (spell it right) choices and the justice system is working the world doesnt need people like you to get involved because you don’t have a life. These people have souls you have no right to judge!! A family friend closely knows one of these kids!! This kid did not deserve this when he was in middle school his dumb family members choose to get him mixed up in drugs he was 13 he was young and impressionable!! He made mistakes true but, he does not deserve to be condemned for it!! He was switching his life around this year he started staying in he was enrolling in school these are people anyone who condemns them should go to hell!!

      1. randy says:

        The Truth if your identity is ever stolen are you going to come back and say who are you to judge they have souls.I guess you never had to sit on the phone for days contacting banks credit card .co etc trying to get it all straighten out

      2. Life says:

        To The Truth ~ You need a spell check also! You spelled (SPEL) wrong. Plus this kid you are talking about does not sound like to me they are trying to change if they are now stealing from people. They are probably stealing to support there drug habit it sounds like. Also you act like this is ok what this person did and it is not! Again this person is still making bad choices and it is a choice what they decide to do with their lives. It is a choice we make in life and they made and are making their choices. You talk about juding people! I have a right to comment not judging. You are the one judging everyone on here. you said I do not have a life just because someone unlike you has a job does not mean they do not have a life and a happy good one. I and I am sure alot of people on here that made a comment has jobs and really happy and good life also! Again stealing from people is not ok like you think it is actually a sin.

  9. Jeff Prager says:

    The fraudulent Federal Reserve banking system ripped off Americans, their children and grandchildren for 12 trillion dollars and you ignorant people care about a few petty criminals? I say BRAVO and let’s scam the banks for MORE.

    1. clara says:

      The check forgers did not scam banks, they stole from individuals like you and me. HANG EM”

  10. IDIOTS says:

    METH IS A MOTHER F*****!!!

  11. mike says:

    well… I’m going through mail fraud. The individual remade the cheque with all my information and changed the payee info. The cheque was for 30, 510.00. I have been reimbursed by the bank that cashed the cheque out of province (calgary, AB) I’m in Toronto, and I run a general contracting company. And yes cheques are still written, it is how most businesses pay their suppliers and trades. The reason I’m writing this is because the individual who modified the cheque used the name John Charles Dolan, and while searching for info on the loser I came across this blog. These are highly sophisticated criminals and deserve to be penalized. End of story