Ruskin Man Sentenced For Mail Fraud

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven has sentenced Benjamin Lara (39, Ruskin) to one year and one day in federal prison for mail fraud. The court also ordered Lara to pay $68,086.23 in restitution. Lara entered a guilty plea on November 13, 2023.

According to court documents, between March 2016 and July 2017, Lara was employed as a personal banker at a bank in West Bradenton. Through this position, Lara assisted an 85-year-old bank customer. Lara later used information gained through his position to send 31 automatic bill payment checks in his name, to his home address in Ruskin, from that customer’s accounts. Lara also electronically transferred funds from the victim’s account onto three pre-paid cards. In total, between December 2017 and July 2019, Lara stole $68,086 from the victim’s bank account.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilyssa M. Spergel.

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