In a recent case of identity and bank fraud, defendant Evan Daniel Montvel-Cohen has been sentenced to 82 months in federal prison by the District Court of Guam. Montvel-Cohen engaged in a scheme to defraud a property management company in Guam by using someone else’s personal identification to enter into a residential lease agreement. He also defrauded a federally insured financial institution by depositing a check into a joint account and later causing a stop payment order, resulting in a loss for the bank. The court found evidence of a long history of similar frauds and schemes, totaling over $1.5 million in losses. This sentencing aims to deter Montvel-Cohen from reoffending, with the FBI commending their efforts in bringing him to justice.
In a recent case of identity and bank fraud, the defendant Evan Daniel Montvel-Cohen has been sentenced to 82 months in federal prison. This comprehensive article will delve into the details of his charges, the schemes he perpetrated, the financial losses incurred, his criminal history, the impact on victims, the investigation and prosecution process, and the sentencing and deterrence measures taken.
Shawn N. Anderson, the United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that the defendant Evan Daniel Montvel-Cohen has been sentenced to 82 months in federal prison. Montvel-Cohen was charged with Use of a Means of Identification in Furtherance of Fraud and Bank Fraud. This article will examine the specifics of his charges, the schemes he engaged in, and the penalties he faces.
Montvel-Cohen was charged with two distinct crimes – Use of a Means of Identification in Furtherance of Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1028(a)(7), and Bank Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1344. These charges stem from his involvement in an identity fraud scheme and a bank fraud scheme, both of which caused significant financial losses. The details of these charges will be explored in subsequent sections.
Sentencing and Penalties
As part of his sentencing, Montvel-Cohen has been given 82 months imprisonment by the District Court of Guam. In addition to this, he must also serve 5 years of supervised release and pay a mandatory $200 special assessment fee. Furthermore, he is required to provide restitution in the amount of $74,826.67. These penalties reflect the severity of his crimes and aim to deter any further fraudulent activities.
Identity Fraud Scheme
Details of the Scheme
Between November 2019 and January 2020, Montvel-Cohen engaged in an identity fraud scheme aimed at defrauding a property management company in Guam. He used the name and personal identification of another individual to enter into a residential lease agreement. Montvel-Cohen altered an image of his own Guam driver’s license, replacing the name and date of birth with the victim’s information. He then digitally signed a lease agreement using an e-mail address created in the victim’s name. By occupying a residential unit belonging to the property management company and bouncing rent and deposit checks, Montvel-Cohen caused a loss of nearly $20,000.
Use of False Identification
A key component of Montvel-Cohen’s identity fraud scheme was his use of false identification. By altering his own driver’s license to match the victim’s information, he was able to deceive the property management company and gain access to a residential unit. This manipulation of identification documents demonstrates the defendant’s premeditated actions in carrying out his fraudulent activities.
Lease Agreement Fraud
As part of his identity fraud scheme, Montvel-Cohen digitally signed a lease agreement using an e-mail address created in the victim’s name. Through this fraudulent agreement, he obtained possession of a residential unit without any intention of fulfilling his financial obligations. The subsequent bouncing of rent and deposit checks further solidified his fraudulent intent, leading to financial losses for the property management company.
The identity fraud scheme perpetrated by Montvel-Cohen resulted in substantial financial losses for the property management company. The total loss amounted to nearly $20,000. This significant sum underscores the severity of the defendant’s actions and the impact they had on the victimized company.
Bank Fraud Scheme
Montvel-Cohen engaged in a bank fraud scheme between July 31, 2018, and August 18, 2018. During this period, he orchestrated a plan to defraud the Bank of Guam, a federally insured financial institution. The scheme involved deceptive financial transactions and resulted in financial losses for the bank.
Method of Fraud
In the bank fraud scheme, Montvel-Cohen deposited a $45,010.00 check from a jointly owned Bank of Hawaii account into a jointly owned Bank of Guam account. However, he subsequently placed a stop payment order on the Bank of Hawaii check, effectively rendering it invalid. This deceptive maneuver allowed Montvel-Cohen to cause funds to be transferred from the Bank of Guam account in the amount of $39,356.05. By engaging in these fraudulent activities, Montvel-Cohen aimed to deceive the bank and unlawfully obtain funds.
Financial Institution Involved
The bank fraud scheme perpetrated by Montvel-Cohen specifically targeted the Bank of Guam. As a federally insured financial institution, the Bank of Guam was subject to his fraudulent actions. The involvement of a reputable banking institution highlights the importance of vigilance and robust security measures in preventing such schemes.
Loss to Bank of Guam
Due to Montvel-Cohen’s stop payment order on the Bank of Hawaii check, it was returned, resulting in a loss to the Bank of Guam. The total loss incurred by the bank amounted to $39,356.05. This financial loss emphasizes the impact of the defendant’s fraudulent activities on the victimized institutions.
Defendant’s Criminal History
Pattern of Fraudulent Activities
Montvel-Cohen’s involvement in the identity and bank fraud schemes was not an isolated incident. Instead, his criminal history reveals a pattern of engaging in fraudulent activities. The defendant has a long-standing history of perpetrating fraud, which has resulted in numerous victims throughout the United States. The repetition of such schemes underscores the need for stringent measures to address and deter his unlawful actions.
The defendant’s fraudulent activities spanned multiple years, further indicating the extent of his criminal behavior. Montvel-Cohen’s involvement in fraud schemes was not limited to isolated instances but occurred consistently over an extended period. This extensive timeframe highlights the need for a thorough investigation and comprehensive prosecution.
Total Financial Losses
The magnitude of Montvel-Cohen’s fraudulent activities is reflected in the substantial financial losses incurred. By engaging in a series of frauds and schemes over the course of several years, the defendant caused actual and intended losses of over $1.5 million dollars. These significant financial losses further substantiate the severity of his criminal history.
Impact on Victims
The identity and bank fraud schemes perpetrated by Montvel-Cohen had devastating consequences for his victims. The property management company that fell prey to his identity fraud scheme experienced a loss of nearly $20,000, while the Bank of Guam suffered a loss of $39,356.05 due to the bank fraud scheme. The financial burdens placed on these institutions highlight the detrimental effects of Montvel-Cohen’s fraudulent activities.
Unawareness of Identity Theft
One particularly concerning aspect of identity fraud is the often delayed awareness of the theft. Many individuals may not realize they have fallen victim to identity theft until significant harm has already been done. Montvel-Cohen’s scheme involved the use of another person’s identification, causing deep-seated issues for the victim. Awareness of the long-term consequences and emotional toll on victims is crucial in addressing the far-reaching impact of identity fraud.
FBI’s Efforts to Investigate
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) played a pivotal role in investigating Montvel-Cohen’s identity and bank fraud schemes. With a focus on combating financial fraud and protecting victims, the FBI spared no effort or resource in bringing the defendant to justice. Their diligent investigative efforts were instrumental in uncovering the extent of the schemes and gathering evidence to support the subsequent prosecution.
The investigation into Montvel-Cohen’s fraudulent activities required the utilization of various resources. The FBI employed a range of forensic techniques, financial analysis, and specialized investigative tools to gather evidence and build a strong case against the defendant. The allocation of these resources underscores the commitment of law enforcement agencies in addressing and combating identity and bank fraud.
Investigation and Prosecution
Involvement of the FBI
The FBI played a crucial role in the investigation of Montvel-Cohen’s fraudulent activities. Their expertise in financial fraud and their commitment to pursuing justice enabled them to uncover the intricate details of the schemes. Through extensive forensic analysis and investigative techniques, the FBI gathered the evidence necessary to support the subsequent prosecution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Role
Benjamin K. Petersburg, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Guam, was responsible for prosecuting Montvel-Cohen. Petersburg’s role involved building a strong case against the defendant, presenting the evidence to the court, and advocating for justice. His expertise in criminal prosecution and knowledge of relevant laws and regulations were instrumental in ensuring a thorough and fair legal process.
Results of the Prosecution
As a result of the diligent investigation and skillful prosecution, Montvel-Cohen was found guilty of the charges against him. The District Court of Guam sentenced him to 82 months in federal prison. Additionally, he must serve 5 years of supervised release, pay a mandatory $200 special assessment fee, and provide restitution in the amount of $74,826.67. The successful prosecution of Montvel-Cohen reflects the dedication of law enforcement agencies and the court system in upholding justice.
Sentencing and Deterrence
Lengthy Prison Term
With a sentence of 82 months in federal prison, Montvel-Cohen faces a significant period of incarceration. The court’s decision to impose such a lengthy prison term reflects the severity of his crimes and aims to protect society from his fraudulent activities. This extensive sentence serves as a deterrent to both the defendant and potential future offenders.
Purpose of Deterrence
Deterrence is a crucial aspect of sentencing in fraud cases. By imposing strict penalties on individuals found guilty of fraudulent activities, the justice system aims to deter others from engaging in similar criminal behavior. The deterrence factor is particularly relevant in cases involving repeat offenders, like Montvel-Cohen, who have a track record of fraudulent activities over a long period.
Impact of the Court’s Sentence
Montvel-Cohen’s sentencing sends a strong message to individuals involved in identity and bank fraud schemes. The court’s decision to impose a lengthy prison term, along with supervised release, financial penalties, and restitution, underscores the gravity of the defendant’s crimes. This sentencing serves as a warning that such fraudulent activities will not be tolerated and will be met with severe consequences.
U.S. Attorney’s Statement
U.S. Attorney Shawn N. Anderson commended the court’s decision and highlighted the defendant’s lengthy history of fraud. Anderson expressed hope that the sentence would serve as a deterrent for Montvel-Cohen and prevent him from reoffending. The U.S. Attorney’s acknowledgment emphasizes the importance of holding individuals accountable for their fraudulent actions.
FBI Special Agent’s Statement
FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill emphasized the devastating impact of fraud and identity theft on victims. Merrill emphasized the FBI’s commitment to investigating those responsible for such crimes and expressed the agency’s dedication to allocating necessary resources to protect victims. The statement by the FBI Special Agent underscores their unwavering efforts to combat financial fraud.
Recognition of FBI’s Efforts
The significant role played by the FBI in investigating Montvel-Cohen’s identity and bank fraud schemes deserves recognition. Their relentless pursuit of justice and commitment to protecting victims highlights the importance of law enforcement agencies in addressing financial fraud. The FBI’s efforts in this case serve as an acknowledgment of their dedication to upholding the law and safeguarding individuals and institutions.
The sentencing of Evan Daniel Montvel-Cohen to 82 months in federal prison for his involvement in an identity and bank fraud scheme marks a significant step towards justice. The elaborate schemes perpetrated by Montvel-Cohen caused substantial financial losses and had far-reaching consequences for victims. The comprehensive investigation by the FBI, coupled with the skillful prosecution by the Assistant U.S. Attorney, resulted in a successful conviction. The court’s sentencing and deterrence measures send a clear message that fraudulent activities will not be tolerated. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing and combatting financial fraud to protect individuals, institutions, and the broader society.
For further information or queries regarding this case or related matters, please reach out to the Public Information Officer for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Public Information Officer
Districts of Guam & the Northern Mariana Islands
Main Office: Sirena Plaza 108 Hernan Cortez, Suite 500 Hagatna, GU 96910
Hagatna, GU: (671) 472-7332 TTY: (671)472-7196
Saipan, MP: (670) 236-2980 TTY: (670)236-2935