An indictment was recently returned by a federal grand jury in Alaska, charging Jared Post, 25, and Levi Skulstad, 26, both residents of Fairbanks, with a total of 31 counts related to conspiracy, bank and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. From 2017 to 2021, the two men allegedly defrauded multiple banks and vulnerable individuals, deceiving them into sharing their bank account information under false pretenses. The scheme involved depositing stolen and fraudulently altered checks into these individuals’ accounts, and then withdrawing the funds before the checks could be flagged as fraudulent. The total amount obtained by Post and Skulstad is believed to be at least $500,000. Each defendant could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on the most serious indictment count, in addition to mandatory two-year sentences for each count of aggravated identity theft. The case is currently being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies.
Two Fairbanks Men Indicted for Conspiracy, Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and Money Laundering in Five Year Check Fraud Scheme
In a significant development, two individuals from Fairbanks, Alaska, have been indicted for their involvement in a check fraud scheme that spanned five years. The charges against Jared Post, 25, and Levi Skulstad, 26, include conspiracy, bank and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The indictment alleges that the defendants targeted vulnerable individuals and financial institutions, ultimately defrauding them of at least $500,000.
Summary of Charges
Jared Post and Levi Skulstad face a total of 31 counts in the indictment. These charges encompass various aspects of their fraudulent activities, including conspiracy, bank and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in a systematic scheme to deceive and exploit their victims for financial gain over the course of five years.
The check fraud scheme orchestrated by Jared Post and Levi Skulstad operated between 2017 and 2021. The defendants allegedly targeted individuals they referred to as “Plays,” using social media or face-to-face interactions to establish contact. Post and Skulstad convinced these individuals to share their bank account information, under the guise of needing to deposit a check into their accounts. However, the checks being deposited were stolen and fraudulently altered.
One of the primary charges leveled against Jared Post and Levi Skulstad is conspiracy. This charge arises from their alleged collaboration in planning and executing the check fraud scheme. The indictment asserts that the defendants worked together to defraud multiple banks and individuals, demonstrating a level of coordination and premeditation.
Bank and Wire Fraud
Jared Post and Levi Skulstad are accused of engaging in bank and wire fraud as part of their check fraud scheme. The indictment alleges that the defendants devised a strategy to deceive financial institutions and exploit their victims, resulting in substantial financial losses for both parties. Bank and wire fraud are serious offenses that carry significant penalties under federal law.
Aggravated Identity Theft
The indictment further charges Jared Post and Levi Skulstad with aggravated identity theft. This offense involves the unauthorized use of another individual’s personal identifying information to commit a crime. The defendants allegedly used the stolen identities of their victims to perpetrate their fraudulent activities, exacerbating the harm caused.
Jared Post and Levi Skulstad are also facing charges of money laundering. Money laundering involves the concealment of the origins of illegally obtained funds through a series of transactions. The indictment alleges that the defendants transferred and disguised the proceeds of their check fraud scheme, making it difficult to trace and recover the illicitly obtained money.
The two individuals indicted in this check fraud scheme are Jared Post and Levi Skulstad. These individuals allegedly operated in tandem to carry out their fraudulent activities, targeting vulnerable individuals and financial institutions for their financial gain.
Jared Post is 25 years old, while Levi Skulstad is 26 years old. Despite their relatively young ages, these individuals are now facing serious charges that could have severe consequences if they are convicted.
Connection to the Case
Jared Post and Levi Skulstad are the central figures in the check fraud scheme that led to their indictment. The evidence gathered during the investigation allegedly points to their active involvement in planning, executing, and profiting from the fraudulent activities.
Selection of Victims
The indicted individuals, Jared Post and Levi Skulstad, targeted vulnerable individuals for their check fraud scheme. Alternately referred to as “Plays,” these individuals were approached by the defendants either through social media or face-to-face interactions. The defendants presumably identified certain characteristics that made these individuals susceptible to their fraudulent tactics.
Jared Post and Levi Skulstad used social media platforms and personal meetings to establish contact with their victims. This allowed them to build relationships with the individuals they targeted and gain their trust. The defendants leveraged these relationships to manipulate their victims into sharing their bank account information.
Bank Account Information
The check fraud scheme orchestrated by Jared Post and Levi Skulstad relied on obtaining their victims’ bank account information. Under the pretense of needing to deposit a check into the victims’ accounts, the defendants convinced their targets to share their bank account details. This information was then used to facilitate the fraudulent activities.
Once they had obtained the victims’ bank account information, Jared Post and Levi Skulstad proceeded to deposit stolen and fraudulently altered checks into the victims’ accounts. These checks were likely obtained through illicit means, enabling the defendants to exploit both the victims and the financial institutions involved.
After successfully depositing the fraudulent checks, Jared Post and Levi Skulstad would access the victims’ bank accounts using their remote banking apps. They would then withdraw or transfer the funds electronically, or direct the victims themselves to transfer the funds to one of the defendants using cash apps or Western Union. By the time the banks detected the fraudulent activity, Post and Skulstad had already withdrawn the funds and disappeared.
Stolen and Altered Checks
The checks used in the check fraud scheme were stolen from their rightful owners and forcibly altered by Jared Post and Levi Skulstad. By altering the checks, the defendants were able to make them payable to individuals other than the intended recipients. This allowed them to further their fraudulent activities and maximize their financial gains.
Losses and Impact
The check fraud scheme perpetrated by Jared Post and Levi Skulstad resulted in substantial financial losses for the implicated banks. These financial institutions were unwittingly involved in the fraudulent activities, ultimately bearing the burden of reimbursing the victims and absorbing the monetary losses themselves.
The victims targeted by Jared Post and Levi Skulstad suffered significant financial losses as a result of the check fraud scheme. The defendants exploited their vulnerabilities and deceived them into participating in fraudulent activities. As a result, the victims faced financial hardship and potentially long-lasting consequences.
In addition to the direct financial losses incurred by the victims, the check fraud scheme also led to overdraft fees for both the victims and the implicated banks. When the fraudulent checks were reversed by the banks, the victims were left with negative balances, resulting in additional financial strain.
If convicted, Jared Post and Levi Skulstad could face severe penalties for their involvement in the check fraud scheme. The most serious indictment count carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. However, the defendants are also facing mandatory sentences of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft.
Under federal law, certain offenses, including aggravated identity theft, carry mandatory minimum sentences. Jared Post and Levi Skulstad, if convicted of these charges, would be subject to a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft.
The determination of the defendants’ ultimate sentences will be made by a federal district court judge. The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors will inform the judge’s decision. These factors include the specific charges, the defendants’ criminal history, and the extent of the financial losses incurred by the victims and financial institutions.
Law Enforcement Agencies
Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation of the check fraud scheme involving Jared Post and Levi Skulstad. These agencies include the Fairbanks Resident Agency of the FBI’s Anchorage Field Office, the Alaska State Troopers, the Fairbanks Police Department, the Anchorage Police Department, and the Vancouver, Washington, Police Department. The collaboration between these agencies demonstrates the seriousness with which this case was taken.
Assistance from Other Offices
In addition to the agencies directly involved in the investigation, the FBI’s Phoenix Field Office provided assistance in the case. This collaboration between different field offices highlights the extensive nature of the check fraud scheme and the need for a coordinated effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The prosecution of Jared Post and Levi Skulstad will be led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey. As the designated prosecuting attorney, Tansey will present the evidence and arguments against the defendants in court, seeking a conviction on the charges brought against them.
Presumption of Innocence
It is important to note that an indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. While the evidence against Jared Post and Levi Skulstad is significant, it is ultimately up to the prosecution to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The successful prosecution of Jared Post and Levi Skulstad will rely on the presentation of compelling evidence. This evidence must establish the defendants’ involvement in the check fraud scheme, corroborate the victims’ testimony, and demonstrate the financial losses incurred by the banks. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution to convince the court of the defendants’ guilt.
For more information on this case and similar cases, interested individuals can refer to related content provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. This content may include press releases, guidance documents, publications, and other resources that offer insight into financial fraud cases.
Individuals seeking further information or assistance pertaining to this case can find contact information for relevant authorities or offices involved in the investigation and prosecution. This contact information can be used to report any relevant information or seek guidance on related matters.
Archived materials related to this case, including press releases, documents, and other resources, may be accessible for reference or research purposes. These archives provide a historical record of the case and its developments.
For a comprehensive understanding of the legal policies and frameworks surrounding financial fraud cases, interested individuals can review relevant legal policies offered by the U.S. Department of Justice. These policies provide guidance on the prosecution and handling of cases such as the check fraud scheme involving Jared Post and Levi Skulstad.