Federal Agents Thwart Attempted Bank Account Takeover
ATLANTA – Brandon Lamar Young, 25, of Lawrenceville, Ga. was sentenced today by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. for conspiracy to defraud Bank of America as part of a plot to take over a Georgia resident’s bank account.
“Prosecuting bank fraud and identity theft continues to be one of the major priorities of the Department of Justice,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “These defendants are being held accountable for their fraudulent conduct because of an honest citizen who refused to go along with the fraud scheme and the hard work of law enforcement agents who moved quickly and successfully stopped the crime before a Georgia resident was further victimized.”
“Identity theft is a serious issue and can, as in this case, involve stealing and misusing confidential personal information,” said Steve Linick, Inspector General, Federal Housing Finance Agency. “My office is committed to investigating and prosecuting such cases and we are proud to have worked with our law enforcement partners on this case.”
According to United States Attorney Yates and the information presented in court: On several occasions between June 2011 and May 2012, Brandon Young bought confidential financial information relating to 12 financial accounts from Alex Dantzler for a total of $1,800. Dantzler worked for the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as “Fannie Mae,” in Dallas, TX, and had access to electronic loan files and other confidential financial information pertaining to Fannie Mae’s customers. One of the account profiles Dantzler sold to Young was of a Georgia resident, and included the Georgia resident’s Social Security number, date of birth, Georgia driver’s license number, and Bank of America account number.
Young took the Georgia resident’s financial information and asked an acquaintance, Oluwashina Daniel Akinfenwa, of Marietta, Ga., to help him find a Bank of America employee who would be willing to help him take over the individual’s account. Akinfenwa recruited Bank of America employee Letitia Perry, of Atlanta, Ga., who had access to the bank’s computer system. Akinfenwa asked Perry to help take over the individual’s account. Young and Akinfenwa agreed to give Perry one-third of whatever money they could get out of the individual’s account.
Perry then used Bank of America’s computer system to access confidential information pertaining to the Georgia resident’s account on at least three separate occasions. On August 10, 2012, she deliberately deleted the account holder’s true telephone number from the computer system and replaced it with Young’s telephone number. Perry then gave the telephone password and other confidential information pertaining to the individual’s account to Young and Akinfenwa.
Young contacted another friend on August 14, 2012, and asked him if he knew a white male who might be willing to impersonate the individual so they could illegally withdraw funds from the account. Young’s friend said that he would find someone who would do it. Instead, Young’s friend contacted the FBI. The FBI quickly arranged for one of its white male undercover employees to pose as a person who would be willing to impersonate the individual.
On August 14, 2012, the FBI undercover employee telephoned Young and introduced himself. Young told the FBI undercover employee that he had identified an account that he wanted to take over. He also stated that a female bank employee had deleted the real account holder’s telephone number from official bank records and had replaced it with his telephone number. Young further stated that he was in possession of the real account holder's account profile.
Young instructed the FBI undercover employee to have his photograph taken and to send it to him as soon as possible. He wanted the photo so he could obtain a fake driver’s license in the real account holder’s name. Young gave the FBI undercover employee specific instructions on what the photograph should look like. The FBI undercover employee had his photograph taken according to Young’s directions and sent it to him.
One week later, on August 21, 2012, Young sent the FBI undercover employee a text message containing the individual’s account profile. He also sent the FBI undercover employee a text message containing a photograph of a fake Georgia driver's license bearing the individual’s name, address, and the picture.
Young, Akinfenwa, and Perry were arrested before they could remove any money from the Georgia resident’s account. Young’s arrest also prevented him from victimizing the persons associated with the other 11 stolen accounts.
Akinefenwa, Perry, and Dantzler pleaded guilty to this offense. On February 5, 2013, Perry was sentenced to five months in federal prison, to be followed by five months of home confinement, and one year of supervised release. On February 5, 2013, Akinfenwa was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison to be followed by one year of supervised release.
Young was sentenced to serve 2 years, 9 months in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Young was convicted on December 13, 2012, upon his plea of guilty.
Dantzler is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. before United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. He could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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.
The Young, Akinfenwa, and Perry cases were investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Russell Phillips.
The Dantzler case is being investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, and is also being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Russell Phillips.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs 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.