Identity Thief Gets Five Years in State Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2011

CONTACT:
ADA Seth Steward, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1014
Erica Terry Derryck, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167

IDENTITY THIEF GETS FIVE YEARS IN STATE PRISON

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Leslie Richard Hoeper, 52 years old, CN 10001650 was sentenced to five years in prison for identity theft and related charges. On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, defendant Hoeper was sentenced to five years in state prison by the Honorable James Collins in Department 23 of the San Francisco Superior Court.

“Through effective partnership and old-fashioned hard work we were able to bring this criminal to justice,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “The United States Secret Service must be commended for their efforts in this case.”

According to the arrest warrant, Hoeper used genuine savings and checking account information from Comerica Bank and Wells Fargo Bank customers, to impersonate seven account holders in order to make withdrawals from active savings and checking accounts. Hoeper is alleged to have entered bank branch locations in order to complete withdrawals in the amount of $32,900. Hoeper is alleged to have impersonated customers in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Danville, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Los Altos, Carmichael, Elk Grove, San Bruno, Daly City, Redwood City and Millbrae.

Special Agents of the United States Secret Service – San Francisco Field Office (“USSS”) worked with bank investigators and a specially assigned identity theft prosecutor from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to investigate this case. The case agent was able to identify the suspect as Hoeper and worked with the prosecutor to obtain an arrest warrant on January 8, 2010. The case agent as well as other USSS special agents tracked Hoeper and arrested him in Fairfield, CA on January 15, 2010.

"We are pleased with the successful outcome of this investigation, the result of cooperation with the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and the banking industry,” said Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Charles White. “The Secret Service will continue to aggressively investigate these cases together with our state and local partners."

A change to California Penal Code Section 786, initiated by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in 2009, allowed the San Francisco prosecutor to obtain jurisdiction of the cases in Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties for purposes of prosecuting Hoeper for the totality of his crimes. Prior to the amendment of Penal Code Section 786, a separate prosecution would have been necessary in each county.

“This legislation brought the Penal Code into the 21st Century,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “By enabling one central prosecution for crimes across various jurisdictions we can successfully address modern era crimes such as identity theft. This case serves as an example of meaningful legislation followed by continuous collaboration that lead to a successful prosecution.”

Hoeper pled guilty on December 1, 2010, to four felony counts including identity theft in violation of California Penal Code Section 530.5(a), grand theft in violation of California Penal Code Section 487(a), burglary in violation of California Penal Code Section 459, and forgery in violation of California Penal Code Section 470(b).

This prosecution was the result of an investigation by the US Secret Service, Comerica Bank, Wells Fargo Bank investigators and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Michael Sullivan is the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted the case.

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