FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
OCTOBER 12, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE MAN SENTENCED IN IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME
Used Identity Information Stolen from a Mortgage Company
to Make Over $246,000 in Purchases
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Christopher Carson, age 38, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to six years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Quarles also ordered Carson to pay $242,816.08 in restitution.
According to his plea agreement, from August to November 2006, Carson and his co-schemers purchased at least $246,000 in retail goods using fraudulently opened credit accounts in the names of at least 15 victims without intending to pay for the goods.
As part of the scheme, Nekia Hunter purchased credit reports that were stolen from a mortgage company which contained the names and addresses, social security numbers, credit and other identifying information of persons who had applied for a mortgage. Hunter manufactured fraudulent Maryland driver’s licenses in the names and addresses of the victims, but which bore the photographs of Carson and his associates. Carson used the fraudulent driver’s licenses at stores to open credit accounts in the names of the victims, and then used the temporary credit cards to buy high-priced goods, such as plasma televisions and building materials. The goods were then sold for cash, and the cash split among those involved in the identity theft ring.
Hunter, age 29, of Baltimore, previously pleaded guilty to charges in a separate indictment and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud conspiracy; 15 years in prison for illegal production of identification documents; and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft. Hunter remains detained pending sentencing on October 26, 2007 at 3:00 p.m.
Lavon Caldwell, age 25, of Baltimore previously pleaded guilty to charges in the separate indictment as to his participation in the scheme, including using the stolen identity information to fraudulently obtain two loans in the amounts of $40,544 and $42,855 to finance the purchases of a Mercedes Benz E320 and a BMW.
Caldwell faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud conspiracy; and a mandatory sentence of two years consecutive to the sentence imposed for the conspiracy, for aggravated identity theft. Caldwell remains detained pending his sentencing on November 21, 2007 at 10:00 a.m.
Faye Marie Jones, age 52, of Baltimore, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to her participation in this scheme charged in the separate indictment. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for using unauthorized access devices and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison for aggravated identity theft at her sentencing scheduled for November 15, 2007 at 2:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service and Baltimore County Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tonya Kelly Kowitz and Paul Budlow, who are prosecuting the case.