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BOSTON, Mass. - A North Carolina man was convicted late yesterday in federal court of conspiring with others to obtain fake identification cards using stolen identities, which were then used to open fraudulent credit accounts and purchase merchandise at stores in New England.

JAMES RONALD BEATY, a/k/a JAMES RONALD BEATTY, 61, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit access device (credit card) fraud.

At yesterdays’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that between January 7, 2010, and October 22, 2010, Beaty was part of a conspiracy that used other people’s identifying information — such as names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers — to obtain fake identification cards that looked like Massachusetts drivers’ licenses, which he then used to open credit accounts at retail stores in New England. After opening these accounts, Beaty would buy merchandise and gift cards which he would either use personally, give to co-conspirators, or sell. When Beaty was apprehended, his Mercedes was full of merchandise and gift cards purchased using one of the stolen identities.

Judge Gertner scheduled sentencing for June 13, 2011. Beaty faces up to seven years of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is highest.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Boston Field Office; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Field Division; Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis; and Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas made the announcement. Investigative assistance was also received from police departments in Auburn and Augusta, Maine. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Ortiz’s Computer Crime Unit.

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