LYNN MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SELLING AND USING IDENTITIES OF TSA AIRPORT EMPLOYEES
BOSTON, Mass. - A Lynn man pleaded guilty in federal court today to selling and using the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of Transportation Security Administration employees who worked at Logan Airport.
MICHAEL DERRING, A/K/A MICHAEL WASHINGTON, 49, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to conspiracy, misrepresenting a Social Security number with intent to defraud, possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices with intent to defraud, and aggravated identity theft.
At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proved that between July 2008 and December 9, 2009, Derring and his co-conspirator, Tina White, opened accounts using TSA employees’ identities to obtain gas, electric, cable television, telephone, and other services for themselves and their relatives, friends and customers. Some recipients of the services would not pay the bills, knowing that the account-holder details did not match the recipients' identities. Co-conspirator White’s customers included relatives and friends of state prison inmates who sought to open telephone accounts using the TSA identities in order to, among other things, circumvent prison telephone usage rules. Derring obtained the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of employees who worked for TSA at Logan Airport from a relative who worked as a contractor at TSA’s department of human resources.
Judge Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 18, 2011. Derring faces up to a total of 22 years in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, and a fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.
Derring’s co-conspirator, Tina White, pleaded guilty earlier and will be sentenced in February.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, George Naccara, Federal Security Director of the Transportation Security Administration in Boston, and Massachusetts State Police Colonel Marian J. McGovern made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the Transportation Security Administration – Office of Inspection and the Massachusetts State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott L. Garland and Brian Kelly of Ortiz's Computer Crime and Public Corruption Units, respectively.