SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment today against Derek Hillgert, 29, of Carmichael, and Jeffrey Wilhite, 30, of Linden, charging them with access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and possession of stolen mail, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to the indictment, the defendants possessed stolen United States mail and also used personal identifying information for victims to obtain things of value in excess of $40,000 in Sacramento, Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Tracy Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miriam R. Hinman is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, both defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for possession of stolen mail. Each count of access device fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of aggravated identity theft, each defendant faces a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.