BPD, Feds target identity theft and net 20 convictions, $200,000 in restitution

Paul Hamby

In October 2019, a check was made out to Shipton’s Big R East in downtown Billings. The check belonged to a local woman, but the person signing it was Carl Mark Madden. Surveillance footage caught Madden forging the woman’s signature, and a federal judge eventually sentence Madden to five years and five months in prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Madden used stolen and fraudulent checks to make purchases at several other Billings businesses prior to his sentencing, and was also ordered to pay about $7,500 in restitution. He was one of 33 people indicted in federal court over the past 26 months as part of an initiative to combat identity theft in the Billings area.

“You would think that these aren’t violent crimes, the traditional violent crimes, but in my view they’re violent to the folks who are victimized,” said U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich, speaking at the federal courthouse in Billings on Thursday. He was joined by prosecutors and investigators who have spearheaded the initiative since September 2019. They included members of the Billings Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

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