MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME
A former inmate has plead guilty in United States District Court in East St. Louis, IL, on July 27, 2011, to participating in an identity theft scheme while incarcerated, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Danwine Dewayne Renard, 47, formerly of the Missouri Department of Corrections, entered a guilty plea to a four count superseding indictment charging Conspiracy to Commit Mail, Wire and Bank Fraud; Aiding and Abetting Bank Fraud; and two counts of Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Identity Theft. The Conspiracy and Bank Fraud charges each carry a penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment, to be followed by a term of supervised release of up to five years. Each count of Aiding and Abetting Aggravated Identity Theft carries a term of imprisonment of twenty four months, which must run consecutively to the sentences imposed on the Conspiracy and Bank Fraud charges.
At the time of his plea, Renard entered into a factual stipulation which indicated that beginning in approximately July, 2008, and continuing until on or about November 17, 2010, in Madison and St. Clair Counties and elsewhere, Renard, acting with others, including Selena Marie Bradford (a/k/a Selena Renard), engaged in a scheme involving identity theft, fraudulent identification documents, mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud. Renard’s role in the conspiracy primarily consisted of providing advice, guidance, and encouragement via interstate prison phone calls and by way of U.S. Mail to his co-conspirators, including Bradford. Bradford would obtain genuine state identification documents in the names of real individuals, and she and a co-conspirator would open bank accounts in those names. The balances of the fraudulently opened bank accounts would be inflated by depositing checks from other fraudulently opened bank accounts. Then funds would be withdrawn, often by way of ATMs, though there were insufficient funds to cover the withdrawals. Often, insufficient funds checks would be passed in order to obtain merchandise. A co-conspirator would produce fake payroll checks drawn on some of the fraudulently opened accounts and would cash them at various locations. Funds obtained during the scheme were used for a variety of purposes, including paying living expenses, paying costs associated with perpetrating the scheme, purchasing merchandise, and for funding Renard’s prison trust account. As detailed in the factual stipulations, during several transactions, to include the acquisition of food stamp benefits in a victim’s name, Renard was on the jail phone with Bradford, providing her encouragement and guidance.
Sentencing is set for November 7, 2011, in East St. Louis. Renard has been in federal custody since his arraignment on December 6, 2010. Bradford is currently serving a 132 month federal sentence and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $122,943.72 as a result of her role in the scheme.
Information for the Superseding Indictment was obtained in an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Edwardsville Police Department, the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Police Department, the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Suzanne M. Garrison and Michael J. Quinley.