Race Day Live– Lester Aceituno, a 40-year-old resident of Georgia, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for his involvement in a sophisticated bank fraud and identity theft operation. Chief United States District Court Judge Landya B. McCafferty handed down the sentence following Aceituno’s conviction by a federal jury on November 3, 2023.
Aceituno, along with co-defendants Kizito Chukwujekwu and Chinedu Ihejiere, was indicted on August 24, 2020, for their roles in a conspiracy spanning from June 2016 to October 2017. This conspiracy involved the utilization of stolen identities to open fraudulent bank accounts across New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Georgia, ultimately depositing over $119,000 in fraudulent checks.
United States Attorney Jane E. Young emphasized the brazen nature of the defendants’ actions, stating, “The defendant and his co-conspirators brazenly stole and used other identities to achieve their scheme.” She added, “Today’s sentence sends a clear message that such activity will not be tolerated, and we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who victimize members of the public.”
The modus operandi of the scheme included the opening or accessing of post office boxes in Massachusetts and Georgia to receive debit cards and PINs for the fraudulent accounts. The co-conspirators would then deposit fraudulent checks into these accounts and withdraw the funds before the banks could flag the checks as false.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, Jodi Cohen, highlighted law enforcement’s commitment to combatting financial fraud, stating, “Lester Aceituno saw it as easy money. He stole the identities of unsuspecting victims and amassed tens of thousands of dollars. What he didn’t account for was the FBI and our partners catching him.”
Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, Ketty Larco-Ward, emphasized the devastating impact of identity theft on victims and affirmed the continued efforts to combat such schemes.
The successful prosecution of Aceituno and his co-defendants was the result of a collaborative effort by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Brockton, Massachusetts Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew T. Hunter and Geoffrey W.R. Ward prosecuted the case.