(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced today that a Gresham, Oregon man has been indicted for stealing financial and identification documents from dozens of people throughout the Portland Metropolitan Area.
Robert Loren Finanders, 39, is charged in a nine-count indictment unsealed today with aggravated identity theft, counterfeit access device fraud, illegal possession of device-making equipment, and felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, for at least the last year, Finanders is alleged to have stolen financial and identification documents for approximately 100 people in order to steal money from them and from local businesses. Investigators believe Finanders spent tens of thousands of dollars using stolen credit cards and other personal information. Some of the stolen identities appear to have been obtained by breaking into cars to steal wallets and purses.
The Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) East Precinct Street Crimes Unit began investigating Finanders in late September 2019 after a fraudulent Oregon driver’s license in the name of an adult victim was found during an arrest. The license had Finanders’ photo on it in place of the named victim. Investigators learned that around the same time, police officers in Bend, Oregon had arrested Finanders and a co-conspirator after receiving a report of a person ordering food at restaurant using a stolen credit card.
Bend police searched a vehicle being driven by Finanders’ co-conspirator and found a passport, W2s, and a retail credit card matching the name of the victim whose stolen driver’s license was recovered by PPB. While searching a Bend hotel room shared by Finander and his co-conspirator, officers recovered W2s in the name of another victim and a victim profile notebook.
As the investigation continued, PPB officers linked Finanders to additional identity theft crimes in Portland, Gresham, and Lake Oswego, Oregon. On January 22, 2020, a search warrant was executed at a residence shared by Finanders and his co-conspirator. Officers seized stolen profiles for more than 80 individuals; dozens of stolen and fraudulent identification and personal documents including passports, government-issued identification cards, and driver’s licenses; an embosser; a card reader; stolen mail; additional victim profile notebooks; three handguns; a dismantled AR-15; body armor; evidence of drug trafficking; and other items.
On March 12, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted Finanders in a sealed nine-count indictment. On April 1, 2020, he was arrested by PPB. Finanders made his first appearance in federal court today. A three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on June 2, 2020. The magistrate court took under advisement the issue of whether to detain Finanders pending trial.
This case was investigated by the PPB East Precinct Street Crimes Unit with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the U.S Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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