(WXYZ) — Two men have been charged for allegedly stealing mail from victims in multiple cities across southeastern Michigan over the past year, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of Michigan.
Justin Lohman, 35, and Justin Cutshaw, 34, both of Redford Township, were charged in the ongoing scheme that also included bank fraud.
The men allegedly stole mail from more than 200 victims across more than 30 different communities within these cities: Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Livonia, Westland, Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Clinton Township, and Redford Township.
In a criminal complaint, it's alleged that the men would alter the "payee" line and the number of checks found in the mail, and then either cash those checks or use them to purchase construction equipment or other goods to later pawn. The men are also accused of opening credit cards in victims' names, created fake IDs and even obtained debit cards that were used for unemployment insurance benefits that were issued in the names of people from other states.
“The U.S. mail is one of our most important public services and citizens need to be able to trust that sensitive financial information they send using the mail will arrive safely and securely," said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. "Stealing mail from people’s homes and using the information in that mail to commit identity theft is a very serious crime, and one that we will treat seriously every time.”