CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Charlotte man admitted in federal court Tuesday to stealing mail from residential mailboxes and using stolen information to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. District Attorney Dena King.
Court documents showed that Soheil Akhavan Rezaie, 37, a repeat offender, targeted mailboxes in neighborhoods in Charlotte and surrounding areas beginning in 2021.
Through March 2022, Rezaie and others stole large quantities of mail from residential mailboxes, prosecutors said. The mail included credit cards, tax forms, financial statements, personal identifying information and personal and business bank checks.
Rezaie admitted in court that he altered the amounts of the stolen checks or changed the names of the payees to his own and then deposited them into bank accounts he controlled. He would then withdraw the money before the victims and financial institutions could determine they were stolen.
In some cases, court documents said, Rezaie stole bank checks and wrote checks to himself which he would then cash with various banks.
Prosecutors said he caused more than $150,000 in loss through the fraudulent check-cashing scheme.
Rezaie also used stolen personal identifying information to create fake ID documents in the mail theft victims’ names, court records showed.
Rezaie pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Tuesday. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.
Officials said he was on supervised release for a 2017 mail theft conviction at the time of his latest crimes.