FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
AUGUST 29, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“WIG LADY” SENTENCED IN SCHEME TO
WITHDRAW FUNDS FROM VICTIMS’ BANK ACCOUNTS
Identity Theft Requires Mandatory Additional Two Years in Federal Prison
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Carol Silva, age 55, of Westbury, Massachusetts, today to 34 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft arising out of a scheme to defraud banks and obtain money from account holders, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Williams also ordered Silva to pay restitution of $19,200 to the victim banks.
“Ms. Silva’s sentence includes a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft, in addition to 10 months in prison for the fraud offense,” said United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement and other court documents, from March, 2006 to July 17, 2006, Silva used personal information obtained from stolen credit cards, checks, account numbers, driver’s licenses and social security cards to impersonate the victims and take money from the victims’ bank accounts located in Maryland and Washington, D.C. On some occasions, Silva impersonated the victims, using wigs, glasses and other accessories to more closely resemble the victim. On other occasions, Silva altered identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, by replacing the victims’ photographs with her own. Silva typically defrauded several banks on the same day, using the account information learned from the first bank transaction in subsequent bank transactions. Silva withdrew money from a victim’s account, or deposited checks stolen from one victim into another victim’s bank account from which she immediately withdrew the deposited money.
In a related case, Jacqueline Belim, age 47, of Capitol Heights, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the same charges and was sentenced on July 11, 2007 to 61 months followed by five years of supervised release. Judge Williams also ordered Belim to pay restitution of $16,500 to the victim banks.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Montgomery County Department of Police, and the U.S. Secret Service Metro Area Fraud Task Force including the U.S. Secret Service and Boston Police Department, for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Glatfelter and Gina Simms, who prosecuted the case.