FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
January 30, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONSPIRATOR PLEADS GUILTY IN BANK FRAUD SCHEME
Baltimore, Maryland - Kevin Pittman, now using the name “Breona Pittman,” age 33, of Chesapeake, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Jasinski of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office; and Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane.
According to her plea agreement, from November 2007, through February 2011, Pittman conspired with others in a scheme to use the stolen identifying information of others to fraudulently obtain money from financial institutions. Specifically, a co-conspirator provided Pittman with fake identification, counterfeit supporting business documents, and counterfeit checks, which contained the stolen personal identifying information of individuals and pictures of Pittman and other conspirators. Pittman used the fake documents to open business and personal bank accounts at various financial institutions. Pittman deposited the counterfeit business checks into these fraudulently opened bank accounts, then withdrew the funds before the checks could be identified as fraudulent. Pittman was paid a commission for each transaction.
Pittman also used counterfeit documents and compromised identities provided to her by a co-conspirator to incorporate fraudulent businesses with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (“MDAT”) and other states’ departments of state, then established matching business checking accounts for those fraudulent businesses for use in the scheme. Finally, Pittman cashed counterfeit checks, which were drawn on real persons’ accounts, at retail supermarkets, using the fraudulent identification documents provided by her co-conspirator as proof of identity.
As a result of the scheme, more than 10 victims lost a total of between $30,000 and $70,000.
Pittman faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud conspiracy and a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled sentencing for May1, 2013.
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 thanked the U.S. Secret Service and Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein praised Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who is prosecuting the case.