FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
October 5, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TAKOMA PARK MAN WHO POSSESSED OVER 250 UNAUTHORIZED CREDIT
CARD NUMBERS SENTENCED TO 9 YEARS IN PRISON
Also Possessed a Loaded Gun Near a School
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. sentenced Joel
Chuma Uzodinma, age 29, of Takoma Park, Maryland, today to nine years in prison followed by
three years of supervised release for possession of unauthorized access devices, aggravated
identity theft and possession of a gun in a school zone.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod
J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge David Beach of the United States Secret Service –
Washington Field Office; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police
According to his plea agreement, on July 17, 2010 Prince George’s County Police
officers arrested Uzodinma during a traffic stop. A subsequent inventory of Uzodinma’s car
revealed a laptop computer and magnetic stripe reader/writer which Uzodinma used to re-encode
credit cards with account information belonging to others. The laptop contained 154 credit card
numbers, none belonging to Uzodinma. Also recovered were seven credit cards stamped with
Uzodinma’s name, but re-encoded with account information belonging to another person.
Prince George’s County Police officers executed a search warrant on Uzodinma’s
apartment and car, and seized: 13 re-encoded credit cards stamped with his name, at least two of
which were originally encoded with another person’s name; a laptop containing 94 additional
credit card numbers, none of which belonged to Uzodinma; and a loaded semi-automatic pistol
from the car, which was less than 1,000 feet from a private school in Hyattsville, Maryland.
The intended loss to the holders of the more than 250 unauthorized credit card numbers
seized, and to the financial institutions that issued the cards, is between $200,000 and $400,000.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud
Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive,
coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20
federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest
coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat
fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased
investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation
among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial
markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other
organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000
financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud
defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service and Prince
George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein
expressed his appreciation to the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department for their assistance.
Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Nitze and Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jonathan Lenzner, who prosecuted the case.