ST. LOUIS – A Festus man appeared in federal court Monday to plead guilty to stealing mail and other fraud charges.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri said Ryan Kanzler and a partner would steal mail from homes and businesses to look for checks and personal identifying information. They would alter the stolen checks to make themselves the payee and increase the amount. That scheme began in October 2020.

Kanzler also used stolen personal information to fraudulently obtain credit cards in somebody else’s name. In January 2020, one victim reported their mail had been stolen. Kanzler used that victim’s information to obtain a Lowe’s credit card and racked up a $1,000 debt in late January 2021 at several Lowe’s stores in the area.

Kanzler pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, theft of U.S. mail, and access device fraud.

A U.S. District Court judge scheduled Kanzler’s sentencing for Aug. 10, 2022. He faces up to five years on the conspiracy and mail theft charges, as well as a $250,000 fine. He also faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for access device fraud.