A South Carolina man who referred to himself and his girlfriend as the “modern-day Bonnie and Clyde” was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to a scheme in which he used information from stolen mail to steal or attempt to steal more than a million dollars from multiple victims.
Michael H. Boatwright, 33, of Chesterfield, S.C., was sentenced to 150 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail, Wire, and Bank Fraud, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randall Hall also ordered Boatwright to pay $427,131.37 in restitution for actual losses to the victims, and to serve five years of supervised release after completion of his prison term.
Boatwright’s co-defendant, Stephanie Michelle Lea Napier, 29, also of Chesterfield, is serving a 28-month prison term for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and must serve three years of supervised release after completion of her prison term.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“These thieves didn’t just steal their victims’ mail; they stole their money, their privacy, and their sense of security,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “They are now being held accountable for their insidious acts.”
As described in court documents and proceedings, Boatwright and Napier called themselves the “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” when, in a period from about November 2020 to June 2021, they drove around Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida to steal mail from mailboxes, capturing personal identifying information from the stolen mail, and then using that information to gain access and control of their victims’ bank accounts.
Using that information, the two stole, or attempted to steal, hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims, including those residing in the Statesboro area, with actual and attempted financial losses of more than $1.5 million.
“The sentencing should serve as a warning to those who intend to steal and misuse the U.S. Mail for criminal activity,” said Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “This is a great example of how law enforcement partnerships work together across state lines to vigorously investigate and deliver justice to mail thieves.”
“As evidenced by the length of the prison sentence in this case, fraud is a pernicious crime, especially when it involves identity theft,” said Craig Reno, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Savannah Resident Office. “The result of this case should serve as a deterrent to those who seek to steal from others and attempt to escape the long arm of the law. The Secret Service, along with its law enforcement partners, is committed to holding these criminals accountable for their fraudulent activities.”
The case is being investigated by the Jacksonville, Fla. and Savannah, Ga. offices of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Secret Service, with assistance from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, and the Statesboro Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan C. Grover.