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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index
    Release No. 10-014

    January 25, 2010

    INMATE WHO WAS SERVING TIME IN STATE PRISON FOR IDENTITY THEFT SENTENCED TO 8½ YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON IN SECOND IDENTITY THEFT CASE FOR TAKING OVER CREDIT CARDS

    RIVERSIDE, California – A man who was serving a three-year state prison sentence for identity theft was sentenced today to serve 102 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to federal charges of identity theft and organizing a bank fraud scheme while he was incarcerated at the California State Prison in Centinela.

    Morocco Curry, also known as “Monica Dupree,” 37, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Robert H. Whaley. Judge Whaley, a visiting judge from the Eastern District of Washington, sentenced Curry after repeatedly telling the defendant, “I consider you dangerous.”

    Curry previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, a charge that carries a mandatory two-year prison term to be served consecutively with the sentence for bank fraud.

    Operating from inside the prison near El Centro, Curry orchestrated a scheme in which he used three-way phone calls arranged by co-schemers outside of prison to convince credit card issuers to send “replacement” cards to members of the ring. Court documents show that Curry obtained credit cards and the personal identifying information of at least four victims. This information allowed him to contact credit cards issuers such as American Express and request “replacement” credit cards. While state prisoners are allowed to make only collect telephone calls, Curry was able to contact credit card issuers by making collect calls to confederates outside of prison, who would then call or, with Curry, make three-way calls to the credit cards issuers.

    In papers filed in relation to Curry’s sentencing, prosecutors said that he has at least 12 prior convictions – mostly for fraud – and that he had obtained personal identifying information belonging to staff at Centinela State Prison. The intended loss of the identity theft scheme was more than $139,000, and credit card companies such as American Express suffered actual losses of $28,484.

    Curry is the final defendant linked to the scheme to be sentenced. Co-defendants previously received sentences of as much as 39 months in federal prison.

    The case against Curry is the result of an investigation by the Identity Theft and Economic Crime (ITEC) Task Force, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service. Members of ITEC include Postal Inspectors, and agents and detectives from the United States Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Probation Department - Special Enforcement Operations Unit. ITEC was established in 2004 in response to increased complaints of identity theft in Southern California. Since its inception, the ITEC Task Force has arrested more than 260 suspects.

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    Release No. 10-014
    Return to the 2010 Press Release Index