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Inmate Pleads Guilty to Participating in Over $200,000 Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme While in Jail
SEPTEMBER 14, 2012

BOSTON - A Massachusetts inmate formerly of Centerville was convicted today in federal court of conspiring to use other people’s identities to steal money while he was at the Nashua Street jail.

Shawn Robert Pelley, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

At today’s plea hearing and in earlier documents filed with the Court, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the government’s evidence would have proven that from January 2010 through August 2010, Pelley conspired with Bryan Wells, who has already pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing for about $570,000 of fraud in a related case. Specifically, in one instance Pelley and Wells conspired to obtain a birth certificate and a driver’s license of a victim identified as R.P.O. in February 2010. That same month, they utilized those documents to obtain a Florida driver’s license in the victim’s name. Wells then opened bank accounts in the victim’s name and transferred $120,000 from the victim’s investment account to the new bank accounts, and withdrew substantial sums in cash.

Pelley utilized the jail telephone lines to discuss targeting victims and to carry out the scheme with Wells. Through conference calls arranged by Wells, Pelley talked to Massachusetts and Florida government agencies in order to learn how to obtain a Florida driver’s license in R.P.O.’s name. Pelley and Wells also interrupted the victim’s telephone and e-mail services so that the victim would not learn of the $120,000 theft. Pelley and Wells also targeted other victims’ funds.

Judge Casper scheduled sentencing for Nov. 19, 2012. Pelley faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy count and a consecutive mandatory 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, restitution, and forfeiture.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Robert Bethel, Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Boston, 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.




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