SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 5, 2009

Man, 25, indicted for ID theft, fraud

Victims ranged from North Shore to New Jersey

BOSTON — A Peabody man was indicted yesterday in federal court for allegedly stealing bank customer identities to fraudulently withdraw more than $330,000 of their money.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Loucks and FBI Special Agent Warren Bamford announced yesterday that Jeffrey C. Gautreaux, 25, was indicted on 17 counts of bank fraud, one count of access device fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

An indictment is not an indication of guilt; rather, it means a grand jury has found sufficient evidence to warrant a trial.

No phone number for Gautreaux was available last night. A telephone page to a federal prosecutor's spokeswoman to determine Gautreaux's legal counsel was not returned as of press time.

The indictment handed up by the grand jury yesterday in U.S. District Court in Boston alleges that from November 2004 to February 2006, while Gautreaux worked as a teller at Bank of America's 189 Andover St. branch in Peabody, he used his access to customer information to steal their identification. The indictment further alleges that this information "was used to make unauthorized withdrawals" of more than $330,000 from numerous bank customer accounts, according to a press release from the federal Department of Justice.

"As part of the scheme," the indictment reads, "Gautreaux agreed to sell the account information and personal identification information to other individuals ... to conduct fraudulent transactions and obtain funds from the accounts ..."

The other individuals are allegedly known to the grand jury, though their names do not appear in Gautreaux's indictment.

The customers who were defrauded include people from across the North Shore, the Boston area, the Merrimack Valley, into central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, and even as far away as New Jersey.

If convicted, Gautreaux faces up to 30 years in prison, followed by 5 years' probation and $1 million fine on each count of bank fraud; 10 years in prison, three years' probation and a $250,000 fine on the access device fraud charge, and two years imprisonment to be served after any other sentence imposed for the aggravated identity theft charges.

— Staff reports

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