A 40-year-old man already facing 20 years in prison for drug trafficking has pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme involving the use of stolen Johnson County government employee identities, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Michael B. Becher, of Raytown, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit credit card fraud in the Western District of Missouri. Under sentencing guidelines, Becher faces up to five years in prison alongside alleged co-conspirator Rachel R. Jarman, 35, who pleaded guilty to similar charges in December.
Prosecutors say Becher and Jarman ran the fraud scheme between February and June of 2019. During that time, fraudulent purchases were made using credit cards taken out in the names of victims after Becher allegedly made counterfeit driver’s licenses. Many of the victims were current or former Johnson County government employees, whose identities were compromised during a data breach in 2015, according to prosecutors.
Examples of purchases made through the fraud included transactions ranging from $1,617 to $8,049. Becher allegedly sold items he bought from stores including Home Depot and Lowe’s and then split the cash with others involved.
Becher was also the target of a separate drug trafficking investigation. He pleaded guilty in April to participating in a $10 million methamphetamine distribution ring, admitting to buying more than one pound on a daily basis over the course of 13 months.