SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A San Antonio man was sentenced to three decades in prison for bank fraud.
Zachary Wayne Crowell, 35, was sentenced for his role as part of a group that broke into mailboxes to steal checks, credit cards, identification documents, bank statements and financial statements.
Officials said Crowell and the group that includes Brandon James Waggoner reportedly would chemically wash checks to remove the original payee to make them eligible to deposit into accounts controlled by Crowell or Waggoner.
Officials said the funds were withdrawn before being flagged and returned as fraudulent and the stolen debit and credit cards were used to purchase firearms illegally in other people’s names.
“One of the top priorities of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is to protect and maintain the integrity of the U.S. Mail,” said Scott Fix, Inspector in Charge of the Houston Division of the USPIS. “Postal Inspectors will work tirelessly to identify and arrest individuals like Zachary Wayne Crowell who choose to steal mail and use it to commit further crimes. Today’s sentencing is the culmination of many hours of hard work by Postal Inspectors and our local law enforcement partners including the Texas Department of Public Safety, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and San Antonio Police Department, to identify and bring these individuals to justice.”
Crowell pled guilty to the bank fraud charge in May and was sentenced on Tuesday to 30 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $39,743.62 in restitution with five years of supervised release after he serves his sentence.
In October, Waggoner pled guilty to the bank fraud charges. He was sentenced to time served in February in addition to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $4,992 in restitution.
“Mail and Identity theft investigations remain a top priority for the Secret Service in our mission to protect the nation’s financial institutions and victims of fraud,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Paul Duran. “The success in this case demonstrates our commitment to that mission and the collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners.”