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MailTribune.com
  • Grants Pass man sentenced to federal prison for role in mail theft, fraud

  • A 50-year-old Grants Pass man with a criminal history stretching through four decades will spend nearly seven years in federal prison for his role in a four-month spree using stolen mail to bilk residents, banks and businesses out of more than $12,000.
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  • A 50-year-old Grants Pass man with a criminal history stretching through four decades will spend nearly seven years in federal prison for his role in a four-month spree using stolen mail to bilk residents, banks and businesses out of more than $12,000.
    Gregory Stephen Brooks, 50, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Medford on his convictions for conspiracy to commit mail theft, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
    Senior U.S. District Judge Owen M. Panner sentenced Brooks to four years and nine months in federal prison for those crimes, then added a mandatory two-year consecutive term as required by a federal statute that applies when a victim's identification was used in committing bank fraud. (Correction: Details about the sentence have been corrected in this story.)
    Brooks was also ordered to pay $12,387.06 in restitution to victims of the fraud.
    Brooks, whose extensive criminal history involving thefts, burglaries and drug trafficking, dates back to 1981 and he was out of prison just two months before he and 45-year-old codefendant Michelle Renee Lustig began their four-month crime spree in March 2013.
    They stole mail from more than 400 residents and businesses in Jackson and Josephine counties,
    They forged and deposited stolen checks, used stolen debit and credit cards to make withdrawals from the victims' bank accounts and to make fraudulent retail purchases, according to the federal Department of Justice. They also used some victims' personal identification to get bogus credit and debit cards from various companies.
    The pair were captured in July.
    Lustig is scheduled to be sentenced next month for her role in the spree.
    This case was investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Byron Chatfield.
    — Mark Freeman
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