ST. LOUIS – United States District Court Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk accepted a plea of guilty from Ryan Kanzler on today’s date, for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, theft of U.S. mail and access device fraud. Judge Pitlyk set sentencing for August 10,2022. At sentencing, Kanzler is subject to imprisonment of not more than 5 years, for his plea to conspiracy and theft of mail and a fine of not more than $250,000, or both such imprisonment and fine; and for access device fraud is imprisonment of not more than 15 years, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both such imprisonment and fine.
According to the plea agreement, beginning from at least October 14, 2020, Kanzler and a co-defendant were engaged in a scheme to defraud several financial institutions. Kanzler and his co-defendant stole mail from private residence and business mailboxes on a rather large scale.
They would then search the stolen mail for checks and personal identifying information. Stolen checks were often altered to make the payee one of the participants, as well as increasing the amount. Kanzler would then present the stolen and altered checks for payment at various banks in the St. Louis area.
Kanzler also used credit cards fraudulently obtained by utilizing personal identifying information obtained in the stolen mail. For example, in January 2020, a victim reported that his mail had been stolen. Kanzler obtained a Lowe’s credit card and used that card between January 21 and January 29, 2021, to purchase items exceeding $1,000 in that time period at various Lowe’s locations in the St. Louis area.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from St. Louis County, Creve Coeur, Kirkwood, Arnold, Chesterfield and Sunset Hills Police Departments.