Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Identity Theft Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Reese Chancellor, 31, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty this morning to conspiracy and identity theft charges under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Chancellor will be subject to a ten month prison sentence followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Chancellor also will be required to pay $124,708.71 in restitution to the businesses that were victims of his criminal conduct.
Chancellor and his co-defendants, Jeremy Bacuccini, 35, and Mitzi Marsh, 55, both of Albuquerque, were indicted in Nov. 2012, on identity theft, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy charges. According to the 11-count indictment, the three defendants unlawfully used the identities of others to commit crimes in 2007 and 2008. According to the indictment, the three defendants used counterfeit access devices, like credit cards, opened in the names of others and without their permission to fraudulently obtain items valued at more than $1,000.00. Court filings indicate that the co-conspirators were responsible for approximately $124,708.71 in losses sustained by the retailers.
This morning, Chancellor entered guilty pleas to Counts 3 and 7 of the indictment, charging him with conspiracy to commit identity theft, and Count 8, charging him with identity theft. In his plea agreement, Chancellor admitted that, while working at an Albuquerque apartment complex in Oct. 2007, he obtained unauthorized access to tenant files and used the names and identifiers of the tenants to make fake IDs and counterfeit checks. Chancellor further admitted that Bacuccini and Marsh used the fake IDs and counterfeit checks to make fraudulent purchases at numerous retailers, including Home Depot, Zales, Lowe’s, Costco, Sears, Sam’s Club and Sears, valued in aggregate at approximately $124,708.71.
Co-defendant, Bacuccini pleaded guilty on June 17, 2013, to Count 6 of the indictment, charging him with aggravated identity theft. In his plea agreement, Bacuccini admitted that, in Dec. 2007 and Jan. 2008, he used the names and personal identifiers of four individuals, which he obtained from Chancellor, to open accounts at businesses in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and make purchases. He also admitted using fake checks in the names of two of the individuals to make purchases at Albuquerque businesses. Bacuccini also admitted making fake checks using bank account numbers provided by Marsh, who worked at a physician’s office. Bacuccini acknowledged that he and Chancellor are jointly responsible for $30,431.70 in losses sustained by retailers as a result of their criminal conduct. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Bacuccini will be sentenced to two years in federal prison and will be required to make full restitution to the victims of his criminal conduct. Bacuccini is in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Marsh has yet to be arrested and is considered a fugitive. The charges against Marsh are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Weisman.