FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Fresno man pled guilty Friday to charges of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft for the purpose of stealing money and obtaining fraudulent loans from his victim, according to the federal Department of Justice.
According to federal prosecutors, 38-year-old Brian Stoffel obtained someone’s personally identifiable information and used it to deplete their savings account, then went on to apply for loans under their name. Officials add that Stoffel successfully obtained a $420,000 Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) loan for disaster assistance related to a wildfire.
The office of U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert says Stoffel used those funds for personal expenses, making purchases at retail stores, and buying a brand-new motorcycle.
The D.O.J. says the case was initiated as an investigation within the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Elder Abuse Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Stoffel is scheduled to be sentenced on February 2, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.