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NorCal woman facing nearly 40 years in prison after admitting to mail fraud

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A Northern California woman is facing the prospect of nearly 40 years in prison after admitting to stealing mail and using stolen IDs and checks to buy merchandise and make deposits into her bank account.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Elise Elizabeth Perez pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and two counts of possession of stolen mail.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento said in statement after Perez entered her guilty pleas that in April she had used a stolen driver’s license and stolen checks to make purchases. Then in May, prosecutors say, Perez deposited two forged checks into her own account.

When investigators served a search warrant later that month at her home in North Highlands, a suburb of Sacramento, they found what was described as “many” items of stolen property, mail and the personal financial information of others

With more than 100 million addresses receiving mail, postal officials are urging people to take steps to protect themselves from mail fraud, including notifying the sender if a check is not received promptly.

“We are working closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and our partners in law enforcement to ensure the U.S. mail system is not used to facilitate criminal activity,” said Rafael Nunez, Inspector in Charge in San Francisco for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Perez is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on November 4th. Prosecutors say she’s facing up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud, up to five years in prison for possession of stolen mail and a consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors say the number of years she’s ordered to serve in prison will depend on federal sentencing guidelines and other factors the judge in the case takes into consideration.