Boston...A Massachusetts prisoner was charged today in federal court with participating in a scheme to use other people’s identities to steal money while he was sitting in prison.
Shawn Robert Pelley, 36, of Centerville, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
The criminal complaint alleges that from around Jan. 1, 2010 through Aug. 5, 2010 Pelley conspired with Bryan Wells, who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing for about $570,000 of fraud in a related case.
According to the complaint, on Feb. 1, 2010, Wells obtained a copy of the birth certificate of a person identified as R.P.O. Phone records from the following day, Feb. 2, 2010, indicate that Pelley and Wells spoke with the Massachusetts RMV about having a copy of R.P.O.’s driver’s license or driver’s record sent to Fla. On Feb. 3, 2010, Wells allegedly presented the birth certificate and other information in Fla. to obtain a driver’s license in R.P.O.’s name. On Feb. 8, 2010, Wells allegedly opened bank accounts in R.P.O.’s name, and on Feb. 11 and 12, Wells transferred $120,000 from R.P.O.’s investment account to and among these new bank accounts, and withdrew substantial sums in cash.
The complaint alleges that Pelley participated in the scheme while he was in jail by talking to Wells and others over jail telephone lines. In these calls, Pelley and Wells allegedly discussed targeting R.P.O., and, through conference calls arranged by Wells, Pelley talked to Mass. and Fla. government agencies in order to learn how Wells could obtain a Fla. driver’s license in R.P.O.’s name. Pelley also allegedly directed Wells to interrupt R.P.O.’s telephone and e-mail services so that R.P.O. would not learn of the $120,000 theft, and directed the money should be transferred and withdrawn. According to the complaint, Pelley directed Wells to compensate one of Pelley’s family.
If convicted, Pelley faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy count and a consecutive two years on the count of aggravated identity theft, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Ortiz’s Cybercrimes Unit.
The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.