According to a press release from Tom Larson on Thursday, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Chrystal Lynn Bernstein, 27, was sentenced in federal court today by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 36-months without parole.

An Osage Beach woman has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for a scheme involving stolen mail and identities used to cash fraudulent checks at Lake of the Ozarks area banks in 2016-2017. 

According to a press release from Tom Larson on Thursday, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Chrystal Lynn Bernstein, 27, was sentenced in federal court today by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 36-months without parole. 

The court also ordered Bernstein to pay $13,101 in restitution to her victims.

On May 9, 2017, Bernstein pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Bernstein admitted that she engaged in a scheme to obtain stolen mail (including checks), then use stolen identities to cash and deposit the checks at several banks in Boone and Camden Counties from December 2016 to Feb. 16, 2017.

Bernstein opened accounts at Central Bank of the Lake of the Ozarks and at Landmark Bank in the names of persons whose names and Social Security numbers she obtained without their permission or knowledge. Bernstein admitted she altered the payee on some of the stolen checks she obtained in order to cash them in the names of a mother and daughter in California whose identities she had stolen.

She also admitted that she deposited a stolen check into a fraudulent bank account that was opened under another person’s name. Bernstein also passed a bad check for $826 at a Columbia, Mo., business using a stolen identity.

Bernstein was arrested during a traffic stop on Feb. 1, 2017, in Lake Ozark. She was in possession of a driver’s license, Social Security card and credit card bearing another person’s name. Bernstein was able to bond out and was released.

On Feb. 16, 2017, Bernstein attempted to cash a check at Central Bank. Bernstein was arrested as she returned to her residence, driving a vehicle with a reported stolen license plate. Law enforcement officers searched the vehicle and found checks and money orders in the trunk that had been stolen from two additional victims.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Lake Ozark, Mo., Police Department, the Osage Beach, Mo., Police Department, the Camdenton, Mo., Police Department and the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.