Federal grand jury indict 13 on charges including bank fraud

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged 13 people from Ohio with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The U.S. attorney for Ohio’s southern district said Wednesday the indictment alleges that from September 2016 until August 2017 defendants conspired to unlawfully negotiate checks and money orders taken from mail collection boxes in the Columbus area.

Authorities say at least four defendants were once Postal Service employees and three of them allegedly gave or sold Postal Service property to allow others to steal checks and money orders. The indictment says co-conspirators allegedly cashed the stolen checks and money orders at ATMs and through bank mobile deposit apps.

The conspiracy also allegedly involved creating counterfeit checks using stolen checks.

Authorities estimate financial institutions lost at least $150,000.

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