Cops and Courts, Latest News

Morgantown man accused of fraud-related charges for second time

A Morgantown man accused of stealing nearly a half a million dollars in a scheme involving forged checks that belonged to a relative was federally indicted Tuesday on three counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced Tuesday afternoon that Jaynesh Umesh Patel, 40, is accused of using the identity of a relative to create fraudulent bank accounts and then forging checks to be deposited, which totalled more than $450,000. 

“Sadly, those who engage in white-collar crime are often related to their victims, and that is the case here,” Ihlenfeld stated in a press release. “We will continue to make sure offenders are held to account and do everything within our power to recover the amount lost.”

According to the press release, the fraudulent activity occurred from June 2019 until October 2022 in Harrison, Marion and Monongalia counties. 

However, court records show these are not the first fraud-related charges Patel has faced.  

In September 2012, Patel pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud after he stole the Social Security number of a guest at a Morgantown hotel where he was employed and used it to fraudulently obtain credit cards through the mail.

According to court documents, Patel used the credit cards for gambling, hotels, personal loans, retail purchases and other unauthorized expenditures totaling more than $54,000 in and around the Morgantown area and in Washington, Pa.

For the mail fraud conviction, Patel was sentenced to 57 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

If found guilty on the current charges, Patel could face up to 30 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $1 million for each of the three counts of bank fraud, and faces up to two years of incarceration for each of the two counts of aggravated identity theft. 

TWEET @DominionPostWV