Mackenzie Braswell Sherman, 38 years old, was given a sentence that included two years in a federal prison facility and one year of supervised release.
According to documents filed with the court, Sherman used the personal information of an adult victim in April 2019 to file an application with the Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon DHS) for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Sherman’s application for food stamps was ultimately approved, and he was given a total of $1,152 in benefits.
Later, in October of this year, Sherman made an attempt to exploit the personal information of a second adult victim in order to secure an auto loan in order to finance the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz that was worth close to $80,000. Employees at the car dealership contacted the police, and Sherman was taken into custody. During the search of his vehicle, law enforcement officials discovered documents that contained the personal information of multiple victims, fake bank cards, and a card reader.
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Following the further inquiry, it was discovered that Sherman had opened or attempted to open many accounts with various financial institutions using stolen personal information. When Sherman deposited phony checks into one of the unlawfully obtained accounts he had, the Unitus Federal Credit Union was the victim of a loss that exceeded $1,800.
A federal grand jury in Portland, Oregon, brought five charges against Sherman on January 8, 2020, including aggravated identity theft, theft of government funds, social security fraud, and access device fraud. The indictment was returned by the jury.
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Sherman entered a guilty plea to the charge of aggravated identity theft on September 6, 2022.
Investigations were conducted into this matter by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-OIG), and the Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (SSA-OIG), with assistance from the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Portland Police Bureau. Rachel K. Sowray, an Assistant United States Attorney, was in charge of the prosecution of this case.
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