A Bakersfield man has been charged with identity theft and multiple counts of fraud after allegations he transferred over $450,000 into a brokerage account he controlled from his victims bank account.
Ramon Armendariz, Jr., 33, was indicted on Oct. 15, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott announced in a news release Friday. He is charged with 13 counts in all.
According to court documents, Armendariz unlawfully obtained personal identifying information and bank account information of the unnamed victim, which he used to open a brokerage account in the victim’s name. Armendariz then transferred money from the victim’s personal bank accounts into the brokerage account, authorities said.
Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud and Identity Theft Alleged
Armendariz listed himself as an authorized check writer on the brokerage account to access the funds after the transfers were made, according to the release.
Officials say Armendariz’s scheme unraveled when the victim discovered the unauthorized transfers and was able to freeze the brokerage account.
If convicted, Armendariz faces 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, court records state.
This FBI investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Alsworth.