DETROIT, MI – Two men from Redford Charter Township were charged in a criminal complaint for their alleged role in an ongoing fraud scheme, involving mail thefts in multiple cities throughout southeast Michigan over the past year.
Charged are Justin Lohman, 35-years-old; and Justin Cutshaw, 34-years-old.
According to the complaint, Lohman and Cutshaw are alleged to have stolen mail from over 200 individual victims across more than 30 different communities in Southeast Michigan, to include: Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Westland, Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Clinton Township, and Redford Township.
It is alleged that the men would frequently alter the “Payee” line and the amount of checks found within the mail, and then either cash those checks or use them to purchase construction equipment or other goods that they would later pawn. It is further alleged that the men also opened credit cards in various victims’ names.
According the complaint, Lohman also manufactured fake IDs to assist in the fraud scheme. It is also alleged that Lohman obtained debit cards loaded with Unemployment Insurance benefits issued in the names of individuals in other states, which are believed to be the product of fraud.
“The U.S. mail is one of our most important public services and citizens need to be able to trust that sensitive financial information they send using the mail will arrive safely and securely. Stealing mail from people’s homes and using the information in that mail to commit identity theft is a very serious crime, and one that we will treat seriously every time,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.
“I appreciate the collaborative efforts of the South East Michigan Cyber Fraud Task Force, including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and local law enforcement agencies, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to bring these two defendants to justice on charges relating to mail theft and identity theft, and protect the citizens of Michigan from this criminal activity,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas Zloto.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement and security arm of the Postal Service, is charged with safeguarding the nation’s mail – including the people who move it and the customers who use it. While the U.S. Mail remains one of the most secure means of transmitting personal information, thieves and fraudsters unfortunately attempt to exploit the postal system on occasion for personal gain. That is why U.S. Postal Inspectors work tirelessly to investigate postal-related crime and seek the maximum possible prosecution of those violators to keep you and your mail safe,” added Acting Inspector in Charge Bryan Musgrove.