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Man from Boulder CO Faces 20 Years Prison in a check & Loan Fraud Scheme Involving Identity Packages Purchased from the Dark Web

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The man facing numerous Boulder County charges involving check and prescription fraud is now facing a federal case and was taken into federal custody.

Shawn Vencel, 36, was charged with federal mail fraud for which he could be facing up to 20 years in prison, according to online court documents.

According to an affidavit, Vencel obtained a loan of more than $50,000 in someone else’s name to purchase a new truck in Broomfield in April 2019.

Investigators discovered the identity Vencel used belonged to a doctor in Texas, who reported Vencel tried to make numerous purchases, apply for cards and attempted other transactions with his stolen identity.

Officials said Vencel went as far as creating a fake Facebook page under the stolen identity, but was caught by at least one landlord who became suspicious about Vencel’s lack of medical knowledge despite claiming to be a doctor.

In an interview with federal investigators, Vencel said he bought an identity package on the “dark web,” but said he did not believe the identity belonged to a real person.

FBI agents searched Vencel’s property in October.

Federal prosecutors asked that Vencel be detained in custody, and a judge granted the motion in July. U.S. Magistrate Judge Nina Wang noted Vencel had 13 pending cases of identity theft, 49 failures to appear, 14 instances of failure to comply, and “a long criminal history beginning in the youth offender courts when he was thirteen.”

“After considering all appropriate factors, I conclude that the preponderance of the evidence establishes that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required,” Wang wrote. “In addition, due to the repeated nature of defendant’s alleged conduct, this court finds that the government has established by clear and convincing evidence that there are no conditions or combination of conditions of release that will reasonably assure the safety of another or the community.”

As a result of being held in federal custody at the Aurora Detention Facility, Vencel was unable to attend his scheduled hearing in Boulder District Court on Thursday. Vencel’s attorney in the Boulder cases, Kenneth Hayes, asked that the hearing be delayed so arrangements could be made to have Vencel appear.

Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman scheduled Vencel for a hearing on Sept. 17 and said he would send a request to the federal detention facility.

Vencel has six open felony cases and one misdemeanor case in Boulder County, with charges including theft, unlawful manufacturing of a financial device, forgery, fraud by check and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

He also has pending cases or investigations in other Front Range jurisdictions including Adams, Broomfield and Jefferson counties.

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Written by ben shekelberg

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