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L.A. Man Convicted of Identity Theft for Using Information from Elderly Victims to Obtain Credit Cards and Buy Luxury Goods

July 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man has been found guilty of federal fraud charges for his role in an international identity theft and credit card fraud scheme which targeted elderly cardholders.

Doren Harold Ward, 37, who resides in Park La Brea, was convicted Friday afternoon by a federal jury of six felony counts, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The evidence presented during a four-day trial showed that Ward was involved in a conspiracy that took control of about a dozen credit cards, most of which belonged to elderly victims. As part of the scheme, British members of the fraud scheme impersonated the typically elderly cardholders and asked the credit card company to send replacement cards to the Southern California. The British members would claim to be on vacation in Southern California and state that they planned to make large purchases while there.

After establishing “mail drops” to receive the credit cards, Ward and other domestic members of the scheme picked up the fraudulently obtained replacement cards. Armed with fake driver’s licenses that matched the victims’ identities, Ward and other members of the scheme used the credit cards to attempt to purchase more than $250,000 in luxury goods, including Rolex watches and items at Louis Vuitton, Geary’s, and Ben Bridge Jeweler’s stores across Southern California.

As a result of Friday’s guilty verdicts, Ward faces a statutory maximum sentence of 104 years in federal prison. The charge of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two-year prison term. Ward is scheduled to be sentenced on September 24 by United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr.

Before the trial, another member of the conspiracy – Sedrick Bagby, 36, of South Los Angeles – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Bagby is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer on September 24.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Los Angeles Identity Theft and Economic Crimes (ITEC) Task Force, a U.S. Postal Inspection Service-funded task force. ITEC includes Postal Inspectors and agents from the United States Secret Service. The Costa Mesa Police Department provided assistance in the investigation.

Release No. 12-084

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