Eastern European Couple Sentenced for Multi-Year Bank Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 17, 2011|
Valentinas Babakinas, also known as Dainius Vysniauskas, 36, of Lithuania and Tatsiana Leichanka, 24 of Belarus, were sentenced yesterday to 71 and 51 months, respectively, for their roles in a bank fraud scheme involving over 100 bank accounts and dozens of aliases, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced. The sentences followed guilty pleas to counts of bank fraud, attempt and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The sentences were imposed by Judge Sean F. Cox in U.S. District Court in Detroit, where the two pleaded guilty on April 13, 2011.
According to court records, the couple was arrested on April 20, 2010 while trying to open a fraudulent account at Chase Bank in Sterling Heights. While in the custody of the Sterling Heights Police, officers ultimately learned that the couple had left their 16-month-old son alone in a Southfield Apartment over 24 hours earlier. Neither defendant had mentioned the existence of the child or his circumstances at the time of their arrest.
Upon entry to the apartment to recover the child, Southfield Police found evidence of the fraud offenses including hundreds of bank checkbooks, bank cards, credit cards, stolen mail, false identification documents, computer equipment, cell phones, and cash. The two possessed fictitious identification documents and debit/credit cards for over 60 names. Evidence of the fraudulent conduct went back to 2007.
Further investigation revealed that both Vysniauskas and Leichanka were both in the country illegally, Vysniauskas after having illegally re-entered the country in 2007 after having been deported for theft offenses and Leichanka on a 90-day expired student visa from 2004.
The pair next face a hearing in the Oakland County Family Court on November 18, 2011 to determine the fate of the child.
U.S. Attorney McQuade recognized the outstanding efforts of the Organized Crime Section of the FBI and the invaluable assistance provided by DHS-ICE, the Southfield and Sterling Heights Police Departments and the Oakland County Sheriffs Office.
Assistant United States Attorney John O’Brien prosecuted the case for the United States.