FRESNO, CA (STL.News) Ramon Armendariz, Jr., 33, of Bakersfield, was indicted on Oct. 15, 2020, and charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, Armendariz unlawfully obtained personal identifying information and bank account information of the victim, S.L., which he used to open a brokerage account in the victim’s name. Armendariz used S.L.’s personal bank accounts to fund the brokerage account.
Armendariz listed himself as an authorized check writer on the brokerage account in order to access the funds when the transfers to the brokerage account were completed. Armendariz’s scheme unraveled when S.L. discovered the unauthorized transfers and notified the financial institution, resulting in a freeze of the funds in the brokerage account.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie L. Alsworth is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Armendariz faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud, up to 30 years in prison on each count of bank fraud, and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.