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Heidi Planck missing update – Jason Sugarman ‘probed over a $43M fraud’ as Reddit & Webslueth users seek LinkedIn clues

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HEIDI Planck was last seen at her son’s football game on October 17 and her boss was “probed” over millions in fraud before she disappeared, her ex-husband claims.

The 39-year-old mom’s last known movements are now under police investigation after she appeared “edgy” before suddenly leaving her son’s game.

Police who are looking into the disappearance are looking into her work after her boss was probed over a $43 million fraud, her ex-husband has told The Sun.

Her boss, Jason Sugarman, is accused of stealing “$43 million from unwitting pension funds to finance the acquisition of a global financial conglomerate of European and Bermuda insurers, and investment advisers based in Virginia and Connecticut” according to legal documents obtained by The Sun.

It is not clear what the status of that civil lawsuit is.

Asked about Sugarman, a managing partner at Heidi’s firm Camden Capital, Heidi’s ex-husband Jim Wayne, 63, told The Sun: “Heidi would have been working with him daily, for sure. I know for a fact that the police are looking into that. That’s absolutely one of their lines of inquiry.”

There is no evidence to suggest that Sugarman was involved in Planck’s disappearance, and police have not named him as a suspect or person of interest in her disappearance.

Heidi was captured on security footage the same day she went missing leaving her home with her dog in her gray 2017 Range Rover. Since the disappearance, Reddit and Websleuths users have been commenting on the case.

Read our Heidi Planck live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • HEIDI’S BOSS ‘DIDN’T SEEM CONCERNED WITH HER DISAPPEARANCE’

    Heidi Planck’s ex-husband James Wayne told DailyMail.com that the missing mom’s boss Jason Sugarman did not appear worried about Heidi and was instead concerned with getting her work laptop back.

    Wayne said: “While I was on the phone with his assistant, I heard Sugarman in the background barking at his assistant to tell me, ‘make sure he knows I want my laptop.’

    “There was no concern and all from my ex-wife’s employer. It’s a multimillion-dollar company, they didn’t offer to hire a private investigator or put up a reward. 

    ‘”The only thing they really seemed concerned about was Heidi’s computer.”

    Wayne said he handed the laptop to police.

  • WHO IS JIM WAYNE?

    Jim Wayne, 63, is Planck’s ex-husband. The pair divorced after four years together shortly after the birth of their son.

    Reportedly, Wayne is a hairdresser for celebrities in Beverly Hills, according to Meaww.

    Wayne and Planck had a 24-year age gap at the time of their relationship.

    Their son together is their only child. Wayne claimed that Planck’s parenting style was “relaxed.”

  • POLICE ARE STILL SEARCHING

    Heidi is white, 5-feet-3 inches tall, and weighs about 120 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

    If you have seen or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Planck, Heidi please contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800.

    During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

    Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

  • SUSPICIOUS BUILDING

    Residents of an apartment building where missing mom Heidi Planck’s dog was found have raised concerns over ‘criminal activity and guns fired’ at the location.

    Cops have not said how Heidi is connected to the Hope + Flower complex, and reviews on Yelp.com, seen by The Sun, show many disgruntled residents hate the building.

    One reads: “DO NOT MOVE HERE. Resident of 18 months… Plenty of other buildings in the area to chose from. Rent at your own risk.”

    They list 14 alleged issues including theft, “rampant drug use” and “rowdy residents,” claiming security cares more about people wearing masks sunbathing by the pool than following through with neighbor issues.

    A second resident posted last month, warning prospective residents: “DO NOT MOVE HERE!! Don’t fall for the nice amenity spaces and valet parking and make the mistake of thinking this is a luxury building. This is anything but.

  • SON ‘WANTS TO SPEND BIRTHDAY WITH HIS MOM’

    Heidi’s ex-husband Jim Wayne said their son is due to turn 11 this week and wants to spend his birthday with his mom.

    Wayne told NBC: “He was doing OK until he saw a photo of them the other day – then he just broke down.

    “He told me that he just wanted one more time to talk to her. That hurt. That was really painful.”

    “What kid wants to spend his birthday without his mom,” he continued. “We’re just hoping for a miracle and that she comes home.”

  • ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HEIDI’S BOSS, CONTINUED

    In September last year Heidi’s boss Jason Sugarman’s reported business partner, Jason Galanis, was “sentenced to 189 months in prison for his participation in multiple fraudulent schemes”, according to legal records.  

    Asked about Sugarman, a managing partner at Heidi’s firm Camden Capital, Heidi’s ex-husband Jim Wayne, 63, told The Sun she had never spoken to him about the legal issues her colleague is facing.

    Jim said: “Heidi would have been working with him daily, for sure.”

    He added: “I know for a fact that the police are looking into that. That’s absolutely one of their lines of enquiry.”

  • ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HEIDI’S BOSS

    Jason Sugarman is accused of stealing “$43 million from unwitting pension funds to finance the acquisition of a global financial conglomerate of European and Bermuda insurers, and investment advisers based in Virginia and Connecticut” according to legal documents obtained by The Sun.

    It is not clear what the status of that civil lawsuit is.

    Sugarman’s father-in-law, Peter Guber, is the CEO of Mandalay Entertainment and owner of the Golden State Warriors NBA team.

    Sugarman himself is said to be a minority owner of Los Angeles Football Club.

  • HEIDI WAS ‘UNCOMFORTABLE AND RESTLESS’ BEFORE DISAPPEARANCE

    The missing mom’s ex-husband Jim Wayne said Heidi appeared “edgy” and “angsty” at their son’s football game in Downey on October 17.

    “She was sitting over here, then sitting over there and then she was walking over there. It just seemed like she was a little antsy.

    “Most people go to the football game and find a seat and they just sit down and they stay there. 

    “She was walking around and then she was sitting over here and then she was sitting over there. Then she kind of came over to the side that we were sitting on. 

    “I sat on the opposite side only because it was sunny on that side and I felt a little cold.

    “It was like when somebody is not comfortable and not calm, so they’re kind of like moving from place to place, you know?”

  • ‘SOMETHING OUT OF PLACE’

    Jarrod Burguan, a retired San Bernardino police chief found it curious that Heidi’s dog Seven was found, but Heidi disappeared. 

    “People are very, very attached to their pets, and their pets do not just go missing,” he said.

    “There clearly is something out of place here.”

    One friend told CBS: “It seems to us that everything stems from that building where her dog was found.”

  • WHEN WAS HEIDI REPORTED MISSING?

    When Heidi failed to pick up her 10-year-old son from school on October 20, her ex-husband filed a missing person’s report.

    Then, on October 29, FBI agents raided her home carrying away various files; they had been bracing to find a crime scene there, according to local reports.

  • WHEN WAS HEIDI LAST SEEN?

    Heidi disappeared after suddenly leaving her son’s flag football game in Downey on October 17, where loved ones say she appeared “edgy” and “angsty”.

    “She left the game with her dog Seven…” the woman’s missing poster reads. 

    She failed to pick up their son from school three days later, according to Jim.

    Heidi was captured on security footage leaving her home with her dog in her gray 2017 Range Rover on October 17.

  • HEIDI’S BOYFRIEND ‘THOUGHT SHE GHOSTED HIM’

    Heidi’s ex-husband Jim Wayne told The Sun on Tuesday that Na’eem Salaam and Heidi had an argument before she went missing and he had assumed that she was “ghosting him” when he didn’t hear from her. 

    The 63-year-old Beverly Hills beauty salon owner stressed that he had no suspicions regarding Na’eem.

    Jim said the couple’s quarrel was over Na’eem feeling obligated to remain up north instead of traveling down to Los Angeles to be with Heidi.

    “He said that they got into an argument because he lives in San Francisco and she wanted him to come down but he couldn’t because he had to work,” said Jim.”

    “As I said, I’m not a detective, but I can pretty much assure you that that’s not it.”

  • WHO FOUND HEIDI’S DOG?

    Heidi’s dog was found on October 17, hours after she left the football game.

    It is unclear who found the dog and when.

    It is also unclear when Heidi’s loved ones discovered her dog had been found alone and where he had been in the three days since she was last seen.

    Jarrod Burguan, a retired San Bernardino police chief, said: “People are very, very attached to their pets, and their pets do not just go missing.

    “There clearly is something out of place here.”

    One friend told CBS: “It seems to us that everything stems from that building where her dog was found.”

  • CAR MISSING, PHONE STILL AT HOME

    Heidi Planck’s car remains missing, according to local reports.

    Her laptop and phone were found at her home during a wellness check on October 20.

  • WHO IS JIM WAYNE?

    Jim Wayne, 63, is Planck’s ex-husband. The pair divorced after four years together shortly after the birth of their son.

    Reportedly, Wayne is a hairdresser for celebrities in Beverly Hills, according to Meaww.

    Wayne and Planck had a 24-year age gap at the time of their relationship.

  • WHAT DID THE FBI FIND IN THE RAID OF HEIDI’S HOME?

    The FBI was seen on Friday evening entering her home with guns drawn; they had been expecting to find a crime scene there, according to local reports.

    They were later said to have left the home with files; it is not known what they contain.

    Heidi’s friends say they have not been allowed in her home.

  • ‘LEAD CONTACT’

    Heidi’s ex-husband Jim Wayne explained that he is acting as the “lead contact” for the police and Heidi’s friends through the ordeal. 

    He described Heidi as a great worker and a great mom. 

    “We have totally different parenting styles,” he said.  

    “I’m a very strict dad. This is not my first rodeo, I’ve got two older kids. 

    “Our son is Heidi’s only child and she is a bit more relaxed in her parenting style.

    “We were married for a couple of years but had been with each other for four years. 

    He said that they couple decided to get divorced “nine years ago.” 

  • ‘A REALLY GREAT GUY’

    Heidi’s ex-husband Jim Wayne said he has no suspicious about Na’eem Salaam, who had been dating Heidi when she went missing.

    He explained: “I don’t have any worries about him, he’s a great guy.

    “I’m no detective for sure, but he seems like a really great guy. 

    “They had been in an argument the week before so he didn’t know anything about her disappearance.

    “He thought she was just ghosting him. 

    “He had no idea.”

  • WAS HEIDI PLANCK DATING ANYONE?

    It has emerged that the single mom had been dating Na’eem Salaam, 43, who works for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as a vice president for operations, according to his Linked-In account

    Stanford-educated Na’eem’s mom Amirah confirmed to The Sun that he had been dating Heidi and gasped “oh no” when told that she had gone missing. 

    The mental health counselor confirmed she had met Heidi previously, and that she “hoped all is well”.

  • SUSPICIOUS BUILDING?

    Residents of an apartment building where missing mom Heidi Planck’s dog was found have raised concerns over ‘criminal activity and guns fired’ at the location.

    Cops have not said how Heidi is connected to the Hope + Flower complex, and reviews on Yelp.com, seen by The Sun, show many disgruntled residents hate the building.

    One reads: “DO NOT MOVE HERE. Resident of 18 months… Plenty of other buildings in the area to chose from. Rent at your own risk.”

    They list 14 alleged issues including theft, “rampant drug use” and “rowdy residents,” claiming security cares more about people wearing masks sunbathing by the pool than following through with neighbor issues.

    A second resident posted last month, warning prospective residents: “DO NOT MOVE HERE!! Don’t fall for the nice amenity spaces and valet parking and make the mistake of thinking this is a luxury building. This is anything but.

  • HEIDI’S DOG FOUND

    Heidi was captured on security footage leaving her home in Downey, California with her dog in her gray 2017 Range Rover on October 17, and the pooch was found later that day on the 28th floor of a high-rise in LA.

    Cops have not said how Heidi is connected to the Hope + Flower complex, and reviews on Yelp.com, seen by The Sun, show many disgruntled residents hate the building.

    In an exclusive interview with The Sun, her ex Jim revealed how he found messages on Heidi’s phone from a stranger who had discovered her dog Seven wandering alone in the high-rise.

    He said he then went to pick up the pet from a couple “who said they had just found it roaming around on their floor in the hallway.”

  • WHO IS HEIDI PLANCK?

    Planck, 38, is known as a California mom who was reported missing on October 20, 2021.

    According to her LinkedIn profile, she currently works as a controller and executive assistant at Camden Capital Partners.

    She was last seen on October 17, looking “antsy” at her son’s football game, according to her ex-husband.

    The missing mom is described as a 5’2″, 102 pound white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes who was last seen wearing jeans and a grey sweater.

  • APPEARED ‘EDGY’

    Heidi Planck’s ex husband Jim Wayne told ABC that when Heidi left their son’s football game: “She may have been a little bit edgy. I don’t know.”

    He added: “If you have seen anything, anything at all, we have a 10-year-old boy at home that’s looking for his mom and we need to find his mom.

    “People don’t just disappear.”

    It is unclear why Heidi left the game early.

  • HEIDI PLANCK TIMELINE

    The 39-year-old was last seen on October 17 at her son’s football game.

    She was captured on security footage that same day, leaving her home with her dog in her gray 2017 Range Rover.

    That dog was found later that day on the 28th floor of a high-rise building in downtown LA – 12 miles from her home in Downey, California.

    But it was not until three days later that Heidi was reported missing by her ex husband Jim Wayne after failing to pick up their 10-year-old son from school.

    Then on October 29, FBI agents raided her home, allegedly leaving with files; they had been expecting to find a crime scene there, according to local reports.

  • THE HUNT CONTINUES

    Heidi is white, 5-feet-3 inches tall, and weighs about 120 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.

    If you have seen or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Planck, Heidi please contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800.

    During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

    Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.




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Should Oligarchs’ Assets Be Seized for Ukraine Reparations?

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At first blush, it seems only fair that some of the sanctioned assets of Russian oligarchs, human rights abusers, and others high up in the kleptocratic Kremlin regime be diverted to help Ukraine rebuild after the war. The principle behind such a reparations scheme seems straightforward: Those who caused so much destruction in Ukraine should be responsible for making their victims whole. But the principles of tort law don’t apply to warfare. Ukraine deserves help rebuilding once the war is over, but assets seized from Russian kleptocrats shouldn’t finance the recovery.

There’s an important distinction to make here: The assets of Russian individuals should be treated differently than the frozen assets of the Russian government. For one thing, the sum of frozen government assets is about ten times that of frozen individual assets, and they’re more liquid. For another, the legal situation is different. There is a lively debate about whether and how various kinds of Russian government assets can be seized or sold. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has asserted that the United States has no legal authority to seize Russian sovereign assets, Philip Zelikow argues that there are precedents in international law for using frozen government assets as reparations; Paul Stephan disagrees; and Laurence Tribe argues that the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the 1977 law that governs how sanctions are applied, empowers the U.S. government with the authority to give Ukraine the Russian central bank assets already frozen in the United States.

But assets taken by the U.S. government from Russian oligarchs shouldn’t be repurposed for reparations. There isn’t a clear legal authority to do so: Under the IEEPA, the president can freeze the assets of foreign nationals under certain conditions, but not seize them. In other words, the executive branch can prevent foreign nationals from moving or accessing their money or other things of value in an emergency to protect national security, but the frozen assets still ultimately belong to the sanctioned person, not the U.S. government.

Congress could try to create such an asset-seizure power and delegate to the president authority to enforce it as he sees fit, but there would undoubtedly be constitutional objections. When sanctioned people or entities have protested that asset freezes violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures” or the Fifth Amendment’s injunction against the denial of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” the courts have usually deferred to the government’s national security prerogatives. But it’s not clear that they would look so kindly on an asset seizure—a more severe action that’s much harder to reverse.

To seize the sanctioned assets of wealthy (or even not-wealthy) Russians would also be to concede that those assets are the legitimate property of their putative owners, which the U.S. government should not do. There’s a reason why the new sanctions task force led by the Justice Treasury Department is called “KleptoCapture”—the villas, yachts, apartments, and other expensive accouterments of the Russian elite are purchased with money stolen from the Russian people. Corruption in Russia, according to some estimates, could account for as much as 25 percent of its GNP. Some of that sum comes in the form of bribes, but much of it accrues by skimming off the government budget into private bank accounts—often in Cyprus, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, or other tax havens where neither Western law enforcement nor the Russian mafia state can track it. By seizing and rerouting those stolen funds to Ukraine, the U.S. government would in a sense be retroactively recognizing the very corruption it rightly decries.

None of this is to say that Russia and its leaders shouldn’t remain under sanction. Rather, the frozen fruits of Russian corruption should remain frozen until conditions in Russia permit them to be returned to the Russian people—that is, given back to a democratically legitimate Russian government under the rule of law, and ideally one which has accepted and integrated with the European security order. There is precedent for long-term sanctions ending in such a way: The United States froze Iranian assets for more than thirty years, between the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of 2015. As a matter of public diplomacy, the United States should make clear that it stands with the Russian people against the predation and corruption of their government, and is ready to return their money to them as soon as it is safe to do so. Meanwhile, sanctions against the Russian government, government-connected businesses and banks, and the Central Bank of Russia should be maintained at least until Ukraine’s full sovereignty over its entire territory is restored.

As for the Ukrainians, there’s every reason to give them a Marshall Plan as soon as the war ends. Unlike the original Marshall Plan, the United States won’t be solely responsible for reconstructing all of Western Europe. Rather, a large community of North American, European, and Indo-Pacific countries will likely be eager to help Ukraine rebuild. And they will deserve our help. They are, after all, fighting and dying to protect freedom and democracy against the world’s greatest threat to international peace. We shouldn’t pretend that the current war is a dispute between Ukraine, the plaintiff, and Russia, the respondent, and find that the respondent must make the plaintiff whole. The plaintiff is on our side. The respondent is an enemy that has already attacked us in numerous ways.

Every day, it looks more likely that Ukraine will win the war. They will need help if and when they do—help that should come not from the ill-gotten property of Russian oligarchs, but from us.




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Online ‘romance scam’ sees Abbotsford senior lose $270K – North Island Gazette

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An Abbotsford woman is warning others about a “romance scam” that recently resulted in her elderly mom losing $270,000.

“Sandra,” who did not want her real name used, said her mom, “Rita,” cleared out her registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and was ready to take out a loan on her home before her family discovered what was happening.

The matter has been reported to the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), but investigating officer Det. Daryl Young with the major crime unit said it’s too late for Rita (not her real name).

“The sad reality is the money is gone, and so we’re trying to take more of an educational stance now – trying to get the word out there that these things are scams,” he said.

The fraud against Rita, who is in her late 70s, began last December but her family didn’t find out about it until the end of March. That’s when they were able to put the pieces together.

Rita, who was widowed last year, was active on Facebook, often posting messages about grief and pictures of flowers.

When her account was first set up, Sandra ensured that her mom’s privacy settings were locked down, but at some point, they became wide open.

A man reached out to Rita through Facebook Messenger. He said he had seen her profile picture and that she looked like a lovely person and he would like to get to know her better.

The two began exchanging messages. The scammer, who went by the name “Dr. Eric Wilson,” said he was in his 50s and a U.S. neurosurgeon working in Syria. His profile photo was of a man in a white lab coat with a stethoscope.

He often sent Rita photos of flowers or of his morning coffee, and would use terms of endearment such as “my dear” and “my darling.”

Rita didn’t realize that all the images, including his profile picture, were stock photos that could be obtained anywhere online.

Eric told Rita that his life was in danger in Syria and he needed to get out. He told her he needed help applying for his vacation benefits, but there were taxes that had to be paid first. He insisted she keep the matter between the two of them because he could be “beheaded” if anyone found out he was trying to escape.

“You can’t tell anybody until I have the chance to be there with you. Then I’ll get to meet everybody,” he told her.

Eric urged Rita to wire-transfer money to him that was taken from her RRSP, and coached her on what she should say if bank staff were suspicious.

Three different banks turned her down, saying it appeared that Rita was being defrauded, and one severed all ties with her when Rita refused to believe them.

But she was eventually able to transfer various sums, the largest being $130,000, which she told the bank was for a down payment on a house in the U.S.

She also sent another large sum of $70,000, but was told that Eric needed that to be the equivalent in U.S. funds, resulting in Rita sending another $15,000.

On another occasion, she sent him $16,000 for a “plane ticket.” There were also several smaller amounts.

Rita’s family learned about the scam when she asked her son if she could borrow $25,000, saying she had fallen in love with someone and they were going to get married, but she needed the money to get him out of Syria.

Sandra said the family had to sit down with Rita and tell her that she had been scammed.

“She vehemently denied everything because she was in love with this man and he was coming and he going to pay everything back … She didn’t believe (it was a scam), and she was so angry with us,” Sandra said.

She said her mom was vulnerable because she is trusting of others, was lonely following the death of her husband and is not internet-savvy. Also, because she is an immigrant, she didn’t recognize the poor English being used in Eric’s messages, even though he claimed to be a U.S. citizen.

The family shut down all of Rita’s social media and banking accounts and changed her passwords.

Then, they went to police. Rita didn’t want to report anything, but, because Sandra had set up power of attorney with her parents several years ago, she was able to file a complaint on behalf of her mom.

It wasn’t until police informed Rita she had been scammed that she finally believed it.

Det. Young said there are many similarities between Rita’s case and others. He said the scammers usually belong to an organized crime group – often based in Africa – and find their victims through social media, mostly Facebook, but also on dating apps.

“They’ll often say they have a very important job, and they’re overseas, and they’re stuck for some reason. They’ll say they’re doctors, neurosurgeons or soldiers and they’re in areas where people are in conflict,” Young said.

They will often involve another person – in Rita’s case, she was instructed to send money to Eric’s “employer” – and the email address used will look legitimate.

Young said it’s almost impossible to catch the criminals.

“These files are so hard for us to trace backwards. It’s basically like a spiderweb. There’s a reason why these scams are so successful – they’re very good at hooking people and they’re also very good at insulating themselves,” he said.

The scammers will never participate in video chats or phone calls and often limit the time frame they have available for messaging – usually because they’re busy targeting several other people in a day, Young said.

He said another issue is that the victims, although they are unknowingly being duped, willingly part with their cash.

“Ultimately, we have freedom in Canada to do what we want with our money,” Young said.

He said Rita’s case is similar to others that have occurred in the U.S., and the APD’s major crime unit is working with the FBI in trying to find the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, Sandra said her mom is fortunate to still own her home, which she can sell to replace what she lost.

Sandra said she encourages others, if they have elderly parents, to regularly check on their social media privacy settings and, if they have power of attorney, to ensure the banks have that information. If that had been the case with Sandra, the banks would have called her on her mom’s first attempt to make a large wire transfer.

Anyone who has been the victim of a similar scam can contact their local police. People who haven’t been a victim but want to report a scam can call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (antifraudcentre.ca) at 1-888-495-8501.

FRAUD AWARENESS EVENT

The Abbotsford Police Department, in partnership with Archway Community Services, is holding a fraud information event on Friday, June 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Archway, 2420 Montrose Ave. Registration is required by calling 604-870-3763.



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“Dr. Eric Wilson” would sometimes send “Rita” photos of his morning coffee. She didn’t realize they were stock photos found online. (Photo by Fahmi Fakhrudin on Unsplash)

“Dr. Eric Wilson” would sometimes send “Rita” photos of his morning coffee. She didn’t realize they were stock photos found online. (Photo by Fahmi Fakhrudin on Unsplash)




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Woman Arrested in Rancho Cordova Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Prison for Identity Theft and Bank Fraud Scheme | USAO-EDCA

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Candice Nicole Freitas, 34, formerly of Martinez, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley to seven years and 10 months in prison for bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and possession of reproduced U.S. Postal Service keys, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between April and August 2018, Freitas and her co-defendant Cody Cannon committed a fraud scheme in which they used counterfeit U.S. Postal Service keys to open residential mailboxes, typically in large apartment complexes, and steal hundreds of pieces of U.S. mail throughout Northern California. From the stolen mail, Freitas and Cannon harvested financial information, credit and debit cards, government-issued IDs, and personally identifiable information (PII). They also defrauded banks by using the stolen bankcards to purchase goods and withdraw cash from ATMs in at least Vacaville, Folsom, Rocklin, and Rancho Cordova.

In August 2018, Freitas and Cannon were arrested at their motorhome, which was parked in a hotel parking lot in Rancho Cordova. During a search of the motorhome, law enforcement found hundreds of pieces of stolen mail, checks, and bankcards, as well as documents containing the PII of dozens of identity-theft victims. Law enforcement also found stolen and counterfeit government-issued IDs, including at least 20 California driver’s licenses and two U.S. passports. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has identified over 1,500 victims of mail and identity theft associated with these offenses.

This case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the Folsom Police Department, and the Vacaville Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Artuz is prosecuting the case.

In October 2019, Cannon was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for his involvement in this scheme.


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