Friday, May 7, 2021
May 7, 2021

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Portland man sentenced in local bank fraud scheme

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Portland man was sentenced Tuesday to a year and a day in federal prison for a local bank fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Prosecutors say Marcus Raiford, 22, used others, including minors recruited from area high schools, to deposit fraudulent checks at their banks and credit unions around the Portland metro area and then withdraw cash.

Between August 2017 and September 2018, Raiford and his accomplices deposited more than $150,000 in counterfeit checks, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In addition to prison, Raiford was sentenced to five years of supervised release and must pay $75,681 in restitution.

Raiford and his accomplices, who aren’t identified in the news release, used social media to recruit people, promising significant cash payments. The recruits were instructed to open accounts or use existing accounts to deposit the counterfeit checks made payable to them.

Raiford and his accomplices concealed the scheme by telling recruits they worked for a company that held inactive investments and accounts in need of liquidation. In some cases, the recruits were told they needed to deposit the counterfeit checks to help the company avoid tax liability, according to the news release.

The scammers requested the recruits’ identification, ATM cards and PIN numbers so they could subsequently withdraw the money from ATMs or make point of sale purchases with the ATM cards at commercial businesses, the news release states.

A federal grand jury in Portland returned a 14-count indictment charging Raiford and his accomplices with conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. He pleaded guilty Aug. 26 to the conspiracy charge.

The case was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and the Vancouver Police Department.