Clearwater Man Sentenced To More Than Five Years In Federal Prison For Bank Fraud Conspiracy And Aggravated Identity Theft

Clearwater Man Sentenced To More Than Five Years In Federal Prison For Bank Fraud Conspiracy And Aggravated Identity Theft

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Christopher Alholm (39, Clearwater) to five years and six months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. As part of his sentence, the court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $5,000, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Alholm had pleaded guilty plea on August 4, 2022.

According to court documents, in March 2019, Alholm conspired with others to defraud a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insured bank (“Bank 1”) with branches located throughout the Middle District of Florida. Bank 1 was a member institution of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. Alholm received a victim bank customer’s (“Customer 1’s”) stolen Home Equity Line of Credit (“HELOC”) account number and personally identifying information (“PII”), including Customer 1’s name, signature, date of birth and Social Security number from a co-conspirator. Alholm then used the stolen PII to impersonate Customer 1 at a Bank 1 branch located in Spring Hill, to conduct a fraudulent $495,000 advance of funds from the Customer 1’s HELOC account to an intermediary account at Bank 1. After Alholm completed the fraudulent advance of funds, another co-conspirator wired the stolen HELOC funds from the intermediary account to offshore bank accounts.

This case was investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor. The forfeiture is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Suzanne C. Nebesky.

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