BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On Wednesday, December 9th, federal agents arrested three individuals for using stolen personal identifying information to open fraudulent online bank accounts and loans, announced U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.
A 26-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Kristen Miyamoto, 39, La Verne, California, Shawn Adame, 46, La Verne, California, and Veronica James, 41, Pomona, California, with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Miyamoto was also charged with unlawful production of identification documents or authentication features.
According to the indictment, from March 2017 through October 2020, Miyamoto, Adame, and James stole personal identifying information of individuals in various locations within the United States. Miyamoto, Adame, and James used the stolen personal identifying information to open fraudulent bank accounts and create numerous email accounts with various providers, often using account names that would match the stolen identities. These email accounts were used for online banking and submitting online loan applications. As part of the scheme, Miyamoto created false California driver’s licenses to facilitate opening bank accounts under the stolen identities for herself and her co-conspirators.
Miyamoto, Adame, and James face a mandatory minimum of two years and up to 30 years in prison. Their actions affected numerous individuals, including residents of the Northern District of Alabama, as well as significant banking activity important to the economy of the district.
FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen S. Osborne is prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.