Sherman fed court sentences man to 51 months for bank fraud

Eastern District of Texas
An Eastern District of Texas Courthouse sits in downtown Sherman.

A Huntington, New York, man has been sentenced to federal prison in connection with an identity theft scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei last week.

Daniel Brian Rink, 37, pleaded guilty on June 24, 2020, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III.  He was also ordered to pay $230,783 in victim restitution.

“Identify theft is not a victimless crime. Indeed, it often causes great hardship to its victims, and could lead to years of trying to repair one’s finances, reputation, and credit,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.  “This sentence sends a clear message that the fraudulent use of victims’ identities will be aggressively prosecuted in the EDTX.”

According to information presented in court, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport police officers discovered drugs in Rink’s luggage on Oct. 7, 2018.  Police also found fraudulent identification cards that contained Rink’s photograph as well as credit cards and Sam’s Club membership cards that matched the names on the identification cards.  Further investigation revealed Rink had applied for credit accounts using the names on the fraudulent identification cards.  He then used those cards to purchase various items, including computers, iPhones, and prepaid gift cards.

On Nov. 15, 2018, Rink rented a 2018 Audi Q3 from Enterprise Rental Car by using one victim’s Illinois identification card and paying for the rental with another victim’s credit card.  A few days later, the card issuer notified the Port of Portland, Oregon, Police Department that the credit card had been used to rent a hotel room at the Portland Airport.  Investigators located the Audi in the hotel parking lot and Rink inside the hotel.  Rink was in possession of the false Illinois identification, another fictitious Illinois identification card that contained his photograph, victim credit cards, and gift cards. His hotel room contained more fictitious identification cards with his photograph, fraudulent credit cards, cellular phones, and a gaming system.  Text and picture message exchanges on Rink’s phone included victims’ personal and credit information; discussions about the credit limit amounts they opened in victims’ names in Oregon and Colorado; and sharing of victims’ personal identification used to open and use credit in the victims’ names.

In addition, the investigation revealed that Rink’s co-conspirators used device-making equipment to manufacture fraudulent state identification documents and credit cards, provided other conspirators with fraudulent documents, and directed those conspirators to different cities throughout the United States, including Frisco and Plano, Texas, to open instant credit accounts to purchase merchandise. After purchasing the items, the conspirators would ship the illegally obtained goods to New York, where they were resold for cash. Conspirators used fraudulently obtained credit cards to rent vehicles to travel during their commission of the offense.

In all, Rink and his associates caused a loss of more than $1 million to various lenders and individual victims.  On Dec. 11, 2019, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Texas, returned a 35-count indictment against Rink and 17 others.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, DFW Airport Police Department, and the Port of Portland, Oregon Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Johnson.