SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Contra Costa County woman has pleaded guilty to bank fraud and possession of stolen mail, acting U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced Tuesday.
Desiree Brianna Bello, 27, and co-defendant 29-year-old Richard Beldon Waters were involved in a mail theft and bank fraud scheme throughout Northern California, according to court documents. Between April and August 2020, the pair stole mail from residential mailboxes and used bank cards, financial information and identification documents for “fraudulent activity.”
Charges against Waters are pending.
According to court documents, Bello used the stolen information to obtain money and property from banks and businesses.
Bello used identification and financial documents of mail theft victims to purchase and lease vehicles from car dealerships on several occasions, court documents showed. In June, she leased a new Hyundai Genesis G80 worth approximately $55,000 at a Stockton dealership using a stolen identity.
According to the court documents, Bello used a $7,000 check in the victim’s name and completed a lease application using the victim’s name, birth date, California Driver’s License number and social security number.
Bello was arrested twice in May 2020 for “knowingly possessing stolen mail,” court documents showed. On May 11, she was arrested in Folsom with over 300 pieces of stolen mail, and on May 18, she was arrested in El Dorado Hills with “five large trash bags she and her co-schemers had just stolen minutes earlier from a residential complex.”
Bello is in federal custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 25.
For bank fraud, Bello faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and for possession of stolen U.S. mail, she faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Multiple law enforcement agencies across Northern California were involved in this investigation.