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Springfield man pleads guilty to bank fraud scheme

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A Springfield man pleaded guilty yesterday to participating in a bank fraud scheme involving stolen and counterfeit checks.

Robert Rees, 39, admitted to one count of bank fraud and one count of possessing stolen mail, according to a news release from the office of Tim Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

From April to July 2017, Rees attempted to cash stolen and counterfeit checks in order to use the proceeds for merchandise purchases. Attempts targeted at least 10 victims with potential financial harm of nearly $20,000. However, through his guilty plea, Rees agreed to pay $1,607 in restitution to three victims who suffered actual losses.

Aided and abetted by others, Rees stole checks, letters and documents containing personal information from individual and business mailboxes. The conspirators also forged power of attorney documents that purportedly gave Rees authority to conduct financial transactions on behalf of the individuals and businesses. Rees attempted to cash stolen checks or use the checks to buy merchandise at stores including Walmart and Lend Nation, according to the release.

Under federal statutes, Rees could receive a sentence of up to 35 years in federal prison without parole.

Rees previously pleaded guilty in 2014 to trafficking in stolen identities, according to The Joplin Globe.

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