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Gang Member Indicted for Bank Fraud, Identify Theft, Witness Tampering & More

A Central Florida gang member was indicted for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identify theft, witness tampering, destruction of evidence, and possession of ammunition.

United States Attorney Roger Handberg announced the return of an indictment charging 24-year-old Tyler Jacob, of Winter Haven, who faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 2, up to 20 years, in federal prison if convicted of the various charges.

According to the criminal complaint and indictment, Jacob used check writing software to create fraudulent or fictitious checks and then submitted those checks at various financial institutions with forged signatures. The funds obtained from the deposited checks were then quickly withdrawn, defrauding the financial institution or business prior to the financial institution or business being able to identify the deposited checks as fraudulent.

Jacob utilized dozens of willing participants to accomplish his scheme. Specifically, these co-conspirators provided him with bank account information in their own names, deposited checks themselves, and withdrew those funds on Jacob’s behalf. Between 2021 and 2023, more than 100 victims and over 15 financial institutions throughout the Middle District of Florida were defrauded.

On January 23, 2024, the FBI executed a search warrant at Jacob’s residence. During the search, Jacob barricaded himself inside the residence, and began to use a shredding machine to destroy evidence. Investigators eventually found shredded papers on both floors of the residence and a shredding machine that was jammed. Jacob also threw documents inside his washing machine.

Investigators located a checkbook and financial documents in the names of other individuals, printers, a scanner, and approximately 25 rounds of .556 rifle ammunition. As a convicted felon, Jacob was prohibited from possessing ammunition.

After his arrest, Jacob made phone calls to an individual and attempted to have that individual dispose of evidence and lie to law enforcement.

This case was investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

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