Marsha Cole, age 56, of Metairie, Louisiana, pled guilty last week before Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson to aggravated identity theft and engaging in a scheme to defraud numerous banks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. As part of the scheme, Cole embezzled approximately $102,257 from her victim accounts at several banks. She is set to be sentenced on November 17, 2016.
At the hearing, Cole admitted that she obtained the personal identifiable information (PII) of her victims and used that information to create fraudulent identification cards. Armed with that information, Cole went to the banks associated with her victims, forged their signatures and withdrew funds. Throughout her scheme, Cole admitted that she attempted to withdraw over $136,000 during over thirty-one (31) attempted withdrawals from victim accounts t twenty-one (21) different banks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Ultimately,Cole was able to withdraw over $102,257 from victim accounts.
United States Attorney Green stated: “Fraud against our banks threatens not just the financial; institutions, but also their customers and ultimately the taxpayers. This case is another example of my office working together with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute identity theft offenses, one of the fastest growing grimes in America.”
FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet stated: “This case is yet another example of the FBI’s commitment to work with our partners at the United States Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute individuals who willingly violate the law in order to personally enrich themselves at the expense of others.”
This matter is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana. The investigation has been conducted by the Baton Rouge Resident Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Louisiana State Police. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jessica M.P. Thornhill.