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Minn. couple stole mail from affluent Minneapolis homes, then created and cashed fake checks across region

FLANDREAU, S.D. — A Marshall, Minn. woman and her accomplice from Minneapolis will be spending time in prison for stealing mail from affluent Minneapolis neighborhoods, creating fake checks and cashing them at convenience stores and casinos in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota.

Angelica Marie Hatch-Pequin, 27, will spend almost three years in prison for her federal convictions for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, said U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Randy Seiler on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

According to Seiler, Hatch-Pequin and Jason Maurice Fagin, 38, were arrested just over a year ago at the Royal River Casino in Flandreau, S.D., as they were attempting to cash counterfeit checks. Hatch, aided by Fagin, presented a driver's license belonging to another person while trying to cash the check.

Court documents said that Hatch-Pequin and Fagin would steal from mailboxes in those affluent Minneapolis neighborhoods, targeting mail that appeared to contain bills and checks.

Fagin would then use the personal, business and banking information contained in the mail to create fraudulent checks.

After Fagin created the fake checks, Hatch-Pequin would usually cash the counterfeit payroll and personal checks in the scheme that lasted about two months before they were arrested in Flandreau last Nov. 16.

Payroll checks were created in amounts ranging from $450 to $2,000, while the personal checks were in the amounts from $100 to $800.

The check that got the two caught in Flandreau was for $1,500.

Court documents also said that Hatch-Pequin would use the money from the fraud scheme to purchase meth for her use and to distribute to others for money.

Hatch-Pequin, in addition to her prison time, must also pay restitution to a victim.

Fagin's sentencing is pending.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the Flandreau Police Department and the Flandreau Sioux Tribe's Police Department.