PORTLAND, Maine: A Boston man was sentenced today in federal court for conspiring to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as bank fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced.
U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby sentenced Rahshjeem Benson, 38, to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $123,292.11 in restitution. Benson pleaded guilty on October 31, 2019.
According to court records, beginning in about December of 2018, Benson participated in a scheme to defraud banks and credit unions throughout New England. Members of the conspiracy obtained the names and personal identifying information of individuals with good credit scores. They then applied for unsecured personal loans in the names of victims with no intention of repaying. In connection with those loan applications, members of the conspiracy presented fictitious identification documents (such as driver’s licenses) bearing the names of individuals whose identities had been stolen, and a photograph of the co-conspirator who was posing as the victim. Members of the conspiracy also created bogus paystubs and purported residential lease agreements in the names of the victims to support the fraudulent loan applications.
As part of the conspiracy, Benson and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained loans from financial institutions in Buxton and Kittery in January 2019. The scheme ended when a loan officer became suspicious and alerted local law enforcement. Kittery police officers arrested Benson while he was attempting to obtain $20,000 in loan proceeds from one of the financial institutions.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Kittery Police Department investigated the case.