Canadian Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Identity Theft In “Bust-Out” Scheme
Orlando, Florida - U.S. District Judge John Antoon today sentenced Roger Samara (44, Quebec, Canada) to 36 months in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Samara pleaded guilty on July 24, 2012.
According to court documents, in 2009, Samara was identified as an alleged telemarketing fraud operator of “bust-out” schemes, out of Canada. “Bust-out” schemes first involve stealing a person’s identity by obtaining personal identifiers, such as a name, address, social security number, driver’s license number, and bank account information. Once a person’s identity has been stolen, it is used to open an online merchant account, whereby false debit charges can be made.
On October 7, 2009, Samara contacted an undercover agent (UC) with the U.S. Secret Service to begin discussing specifics of the scheme. Samara advised the agent that he would need to create two websites for front companies, through which charges could be processed. These front companies would then be used to process fraudulent charges using the victims' information. For his role, Samara agreed to split any proceeds of the scheme with the UC. Over the course of several months, Samara provided the UC with the “leads” (banking account information) of 399 individuals, which were intended to be used to make the fraudulent charges. All of the money transferred to Samara as payment for his participation in the scheme was later recovered.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent S. Chiu.