Merci Jessie Ramirez, 45, of Fresno, was arrested on Friday on a nine-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Thursday, charging her with bank fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and fraudulent possession of access device-making equipment, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to the indictment, between July 31, 2013, and October 31, 2015, Ramirez misappropriated other people’s personal identifying information, which she acquired, in some cases, from client-intake forms she accessed through her former employer and used that information to fraudulently open bank accounts at federally insured financial institutions. Ramirez obtained and deposited counterfeit or altered checks into these bank accounts and ultimately withdrew cash from these deposits or used funds from the deposits for personal purchases. Ramirez also illicitly used other people’s credit card information to purchase items for her personal benefit.
This case is the products of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of investigation and the Clovis Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher D. Baker is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Ramirez faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison for each bank fraud count, 20 years in prison for each mail fraud count, and 15 years in prison for each possession of access device-making equipment count, as well as a mandatory two-year prison term for each aggravate identity theft count, and a $250,000 find for each of the nine counts charged. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables