Forest Park Woman Sentenced For Stealing Corporate Identities
Lee Hijacked Dozens of Corporate Identities
And Used Them to Fraudulently Obtain Money
ATLANTA, GA - LISA LEE, 51, of Forest Park, Georgia, was sentenced today before Senior United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester on federal conspiracy, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges.
“After being released from prison following a sentence for another federal fraud conviction, this defendant went right back to defrauding others by hijacking corporate identities and obtaining credit on behalf of those corporations,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “LEE’s persistent fraudulent conduct demanded the lengthy sentence imposed on her today.”
“The Postal Inspection Service’s message been the same for over 200 years, the use of the U.S. mails to defraud the American public will not be tolerated. Let’s hope this defendant gets the message this time,” said Keith Morris, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division.
LEE was sentenced to 10 years, 1 month in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $561,019.29 in restitution to approximately 20 different victims. LEE was convicted on August 17, 2011, upon her plea of guilty.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: In 2004, LEE was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for a federal fraud conviction in the Northern District of Georgia and was released from federal custody in November 2006. Until her arrest in December 2008 for violating the terms of her release from federal custody, LEE engaged in a complex scheme to steal corporate identities and use the stolen identities to obtain loans, lines of credit, and other services. Specifically, LEE took steps to bring defunct or inactive companies back into existence, including by filing registration documents online with the Georgia Secretary of State to include LEE’s name or other participants working with LEE as corporate officers for the businesses. LEE filed these documents without the knowledge of the defunct and inactive corporations. LEE also established mailing and email addresses; opened checking accounts with minimal deposits; and took other actions to make the businesses appear active. Then, LEE opened or modified existing credit information for the stolen corporate identities at a business credit information company, including by submitting false financial statements and tax returns. Once the businesses were set up, LEE submitted credit and loan applications to lenders and retail establishments, applying for or receiving approximately $1 million in new loans and lines of credit. LEE received a fee for setting up the businesses and obtaining the loans and lines of credit. The other participants working with LEE received the remaining fraudulent proceeds.
In general, LEE recruited participants in the scheme under the guise of business development services. The participants had poor personal credit and were looking for a way to obtain loans and lines of credit for which they would not be personally responsible. LEE, however, controlled every aspect of the scheme, recruited the participants, and directed those participants’ activities. LEE’s scheme lasted over two years, during which she repeatedly submitted false information to her probation officer to avoid detection, including fake employment documents and false residential information. In December 2008, officers with the United States Probation Officer searched LEE’s residence and office. During the search, probation officers found records from a business credit information agency and Georgia Secretary of State for hundreds of businesses. LEE had used at least 30 of these businesses in her scheme.
This prosecution was the result of an investigation conducted by Inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the United States Probation Office.
Assistant United States Attorney Nick Oldham prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (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.