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November 19, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Derrick Nathaniel Hartfield, 46, of Smyrna, Ga., and Rico Carty Clemons, 48, of Riverdale, Ga., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik for defrauding Wal-Mart and other retail businesses nationwide out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through identity theft and wire fraud.  Hartfield received 60 months in prison, four years of supervised release, and a $10,000 fine for wire fraud.  He also received 24 months in prison, two years of supervised release, and a $5,000 fine for aggravated identity theft.  The two prison terms will be served consecutively and the supervised release will be served concurrently.  Clemons received 10 months in prison and two years of supervised release for wire fraud.  Both defendants were also ordered to pay $14,869 in restitution.  Hartfield and Clemons pleaded guilty on May 13, 2013.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Hartfield and Clemons admitted that they used illegally obtained retail store gift cards and applied for credit/debit cards using other peoples’ identities.  Hartfield acknowledged during the entry of his guilty plea that he had advised law enforcement officers he may have obtained approximately $1 million since 2005 as a result of the scheme.  A Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy working a security detail at a Lake Charles Wal-Mart on July 7, 2012, apprehended Hartfield in the store.  The officer then identified Clemons who was in a parked vehicle outside.  The two men were in possession of $2,000 and numerous debit and credit cards that were not in their names.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson prosecuted the case.

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