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East Bay Residents Charged With Mail Fraud Conspiracy In Connection With Alleged Identity Theft Scheme

OAKLAND – Dayna Lynn Alexander, also known as Dayna Lyn Huntsman, and Alicia Amanda Roberts, also known as Alicia Roberts Canal, have been charged in a criminal complaint with an alleged conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and United States Postal Inspection Service San Francisco Division Inspector in Charge Rafael Nunez. Alexander made her initial federal court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael M. Cousins.

According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Alexander, 47, of Vallejo and San Pablo, reviewed obituaries in order to identify individuals who had recently suffered “sudden deaths.”  Alexander would then find their personal identifying information from online sources and use that information to place holds on their U.S. Postal Service mail and to change their mailing addresses.  Alexander would cause checks and debit cards to be mailed from the victims’ accounts, and she would obtain them from the victims’ new mailing address.  Alexander also opened bank accounts using the victims’ information.  She and her co-conspirators would deposit funds into these accounts and write checks to themselves from the accounts.  Alexander would then assume yet another victim’s identity in order to obtain and spend those funds. 

Alexander and her co-conspirators, including Roberts, 41, of San Pablo, would also use the victims’ legitimate credit cards and other online payment accounts, including PayPal, to make purchases at Amazon and other vendors.  Roberts assumed one victim’s identity in order to rent storage units in which Alexander and Roberts stored stolen access devices and counterfeit identification cards as well as stolen mail and financial documents in the names of the victims.

While incarcerated in county facilities, Alexander continued to identify potential victims and relayed that information to Roberts.  Alexander discussed using the deceased victims as potential sureties for bail bonds in order to secure her release from custody.  Alexander also drafted a handwritten guide to educate others on how to commit the fraud scheme, which she mailed to a co-conspirator.

Alexander and Roberts are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.  If convicted, they will face a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Alexander is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi on November 5, 2020, at 10:30 a.m., for a detention hearing.

Alicia Amanda Roberts, who is also known as Alicia Roberts Canal, has not been arrested nor made an initial appearance.  Anyone with information regarding her location is encouraged to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations.  As in any criminal case, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Bennett is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Rodriguez Gonzalez.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the Danville Police Department.

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