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Friday, December 16, 2011

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District Woman Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Prison
In Massive Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme
– Helped Lead a Ring that Stole Identifying Information, Obtained and Accessed Credit -

     WASHINGTON - Renarda Gail Robinson Miller, 40, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for participating in a scheme to steal identifying information, obtain credit and/or access victims’ existing bank accounts, and purchase merchandise, pay bills, and pay District of Columbia parking tickets with the stolen credit and bank accounts.

     The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.; Daniel S. Cortez, Inspector in Charge, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service; District of Columbia Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby; David Beach, Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office, U.S. Secret Service, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

     Miller, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in September 2010 to charges of conspiracy and fraud. She was sentenced this morning in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the Honorable Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth. Upon completion of her prison term, Miller will be placed on 72 months of supervised release. She also must pay $97,720 in restitution. In addition, the judge entered a consent order of asset forfeiture of $88,855.

     A total of 11 people have now been convicted and sentenced in the case.

     According to information submitted to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, Miller and others organized a highly sophisticated identity theft and fraud ring from December 2006 through March 2010. The activity involved more than 176 corporate and individual victims and at least 765 transactions. It resulted in about $1,446,805 in fraudulently obtained lines of credit and charges to those lines of credit of approximately $88,855.

     Miller organized an extensive network of co-conspirators who obtained victims’ identifying information and bank account information by stealing mail from the mailboxes at personal residences located in the District of Columbia and elsewhere.

     The network also stole credit card receipts from a medical office in the 7300 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., and from two locations of Johnson’s Flower Shop, at 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., and 10313 Kensington Ave., Kensington, Md. In addition, credit card receipts and prescriptions were stolen from the CVS Pharmacy at 13th and U Streets NW, and student identifying information was stolen from Howard University.

     Miller used the stolen identification information to order credit reports in the names of the various victims to obtain other identifying information of the victims; to determine the victims’ existing account information, including available credit on existing credit accounts; and to determine the victims’ account histories. The stolen identification information was then used to make fraudulent transactions on legitimate credit accounts maintained by victims, to open and use on-line credit accounts, and /or to effect debit transactions directly from the victims’ checking accounts to make “pay-by-phone” transactions.

    Miller asked others to accept delivery of merchandise shipped to their residences in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, which was purchased using the stolen or fraudulently obtained account information. In exchange, these people received various benefits, such as merchandise, payment of utility and cell phone bills, and payment of D.C. parking tickets.

     In addition, Miller and others would receive “orders” for merchandise or to pay bills. The “customers” would give Miller one-half of the face value of the cost for the merchandise, bill or outstanding parking tickets. Miller would use stolen or fraudulently obtained account information to pay for the merchandise, bill or parking tickets.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen, Inspector in Charge Cortez, Inspector General Willoughby, Special Agent in Charge Beach, and Chief Lanier commended the work of Special Agent Bernadette Atwater of the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General; Postal Inspector Dean Davis of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Special Agent Christopher Macomber, of the U.S. Secret Service; Detective Michael Pavaro, of the MPD, and the staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Legal Assistant Jared Forney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Schornstein, who prosecuted the case.





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