ATLANTA MAN CONVICTED BY JURY FOR MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FRAUD SCHEMES
June 27, 2011
Defendant Refused To Appear in Court During Trial
ATLANTA, GA - After a five-day trial, a jury in federal district court has returned a guilty verdict this morning against JEAN-DANIEL PERKINS, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, on charges of bank fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. PERKINS defrauded American Express, SunTrust Bank, and hundreds of individual credit card holders of millions of dollars.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of today’s verdict, “This defendant was a predatory fraudster of the worst sort. He bought, sold, and traded in other people's personal information to enrich himself, indifferent to the cost to others.”
FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Brian Lamkin said, “This case provides a not often seen inside look into an elaborate and broad fraud based operation such as Perkins’ and demonstrates the FBI's willingness to dedicate its undercover resources toward exposing such operations. The FBI is pleased with its role in bringing Perkins to justice in this matter.”
According to United States Attorney Yates and the evidence and testimony at trial: From November 2008 through February 2010, PERKINS executed several different fraud schemes in Atlanta. An undercover FBI agent, posing as an employee of a company with financial data, made contact with PERKINS, offering to make the sensitive financial data available to PERKINS. The undercover agent ultimately met in person with PERKINS, who gave the agent a dozen counterfeit credit cards, and the two discussed a wide variety of criminal schemes involving financial data and credit cards. The FBI agent recorded approximately 30 telephone calls with PERKINS in which they discussed the schemes, and how the maximum amounts of money could be drawn from victim financial institutions and their customers.
The evidence at trial showed that, in one of his fraud schemes, PERKINS purchased information needed to make credit cards, such as account numbers, from a source in the Ukraine. He then encoded credit cards with the data and used the cards. The dozen credit cards PERKINS gave to the FBI agent were in fact coded with information bought from the source in the Ukraine.
The evidence at trial also showed that from February 2009 through February 2010, PERKINS engaged in another fraud scheme in which he gained internal SunTrust account information and impersonated the account holders, resulting in the transfer of money from victim accounts to accounts under his control. In one instance involving an account held by a local construction company, PERKINS impersonated the company’s president, signed up for online banking services from SunTrust, and authorized transfers of over $3,500,000 from the company’s account to approximately 100 accounts under his control. Fortunately, SunTrust was able to recover the transferred money before PERKINS spent it.
In yet another fraud scheme, PERKINS set up numerous fictitious merchant accounts with American Express. The evidence at trial showed that PERKINS set up the merchant accounts at American Express to allow him to accept American Express credit cards as payment for nonexistent goods and services. PERKINS, using stolen American Express credit card account numbers, then ran American Express credit card transactions through the merchant accounts, resulting in American Express paying millions of dollars to the fictitious merchants. The American Express credit cards used by PERKINS belonged to hundreds of individual credit card holders.
On the day of PERKINS’ arrest, law enforcement recovered dozens of counterfeit credit cards from PERKINS, as well as digital media connecting PERKINS to the fraud schemes. On the same day, law enforcement seized from PERKINS’ apartment hundreds of counterfeit credit cards, items used to make counterfeit credit cards, including a device used for encoding cards with stolen credit card information, machines used to make counterfeit identification cards, items purchased with counterfeit credit cards, and more digital evidence linking PERKINS to several of the fraud schemes.
PERKINS, who is in custody, refused to attend court during the trial. Instead, he viewed a live video and audio feed of the proceedings while remaining in a cell at the courthouse.
PERKINS could receive a maximum sentence of 30 years for each count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, 30 years for each count of bank fraud, 2 years for aggravated identity theft, a total of 50 years for the credit card fraud counts, and a total fine of up to $33 million. Sentencing is scheduled for October 7, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. before United States District Judge Carnes. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Duluth Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Lawrence Sommerfeld, Kurt Erskine, Robert McBurney, and Nick Oldham are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.