Debt Collection Employee and Son-In-Law Convicted of Sophisticated Identity Theft Scheme
Montgomery, Alabama - Quentin Collick and Deatrice Williams were each found guilty this week of one count of conspiring to defraud the United States by filing fraudulent federal income tax returns, three counts of wire fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft, announced George L. Beck, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama. Collick was also convicted of three counts of theft of public money.
Based upon the evidence introduced at trial and court filings, Williams worked for a debt collection company located in Norcross, Georgia. As an employee, Williams had access to names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of individuals who owed medical debts. Williams accessed several files and handwrote the personal information. Williams provided the stolen information to Collick.
Collick and his co-conspirator, Corey Thompson, filed the false tax returns. Corey Thompson previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 months in jail. In 2011 and 2012, Thompson worked as an independent contractor for a cable company. As an independent contractor, Thompson installed cable and internet access for customers. In order to perpetrate the conspiracy, Thompson used his laptop and his specialized knowledge and equipment to essentially shut down and hijack his customers’ internet service. Thompson and Collick then filed false tax returns using the customers’ hijacked internet address, which made it appear as if the false tax returns were being filed by the customer. Thompson and Collick directed the tax refunds to be placed on pre-paid debit cards. The pre-paid debit cards were intercepted by the United States Postal Service.
“These criminals not only stole innocent people’s identities, but used innocent victims’ internet service to continue this crime,” stated U.S. Attorney Beck. “Taking advantage of innocent victims will not be tolerated. Our office will continue to work to obtain justice for all victims.”
Collick and Williams currently await sentencing. Collick faces a maximum prison term of 106 years, and Williams faces a maximum prison term of 76 years.
This case was investigated by the IRS - Criminal Investigation Division and prosecuted by Tax Division Trial Attorneys Michael Boteler, Jason H. Poole and Alexander Effendi.
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