15 Defendants Plead Guilty to Date in Fraudulent Credit Card Scheme Using Confidential Client Information Stolen from Employers
Defendants Obtained Over $880,000 in Credit from Over 250 Institutional and Individual Victims
Baltimore, Maryland - Teasha Hamilton, age 29, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to use identity information she stole from her employers to make counterfeit credit cards used to purchase merchandise from retail stores in Maryland. Hamilton is the 15th defendant to plead guilty in the scheme.
The plea agreements for Hamilton and 14 co-defendants were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to Hamilton’s plea agreement and court documents, from September 9, 2008 to January 23, 2009, Hamilton worked at a health care company that provided travel related immunizations to patients throughout Maryland. Hamilton provided medical and personal records of over 50 customers of her employer to Sherice Jones and other conspirators, knowing that the information was going to be used to commit fraud. This information was used by members of the scheme to attempt to access financial accounts in the names of the victims.
According to the plea agreement of Carmen Doyle who pleaded guilty last week, Doyle also provided identity information she stole from her employer to members of the scheme. From December 2007 to April 30, 2008, Doyle worked at a collection service located in Towson, Maryland, which maintained records regarding individuals who owe money to the Johns Hopkins School of Business. Doyle provided personal identity information of at least eight victims from her employer’s files to a friend of her daughter, co-defendant Janel Doyle, knowing that the stolen identity information was going to be used to commit fraud.
According to court documents, other co-conspirators used the stolen identity information and additional identity information purchased over the internet to manufacture and purchase counterfeit credit cards and obtain loans. According to the plea agreement of co-defendant Jermaine Dansbury who pleaded guilty last week, and other court documents, Dansbury initially worked as a striker in the organization, using the counterfeit credit cards to purchase gift cards, high-value merchandise that could be returned for cash, and other items. After he had worked with the organization for a while, Dansbury began to take groups of other strikers out, providing them with transportation, distributing counterfeit credit cards and fake identifications to them so that they could conduct fraudulent transactions, then recovering the counterfeit credit cards and purchases from them. Dansbury, in turn, would return the counterfeit credit cards – and the purchases made with them or the cash refunds obtained – to co-conspirators above him in the organization.
From December 2007 to August 2010, the co-conspirators fraudulently obtained actual credit advances in amounts exceeding $880,000 from over 250 institutional and individual victims.
The following defendants have pleaded guilty to date, including seven defendants who pleaded guilty last week:
Carmen Elnora Doyle, age 56,
Teasha Jonetta Hamilton, age 29,
Jermaine Austin Dansbury, age 29,
Quinton Alexander Iler, age 22,
Mandy Lynn Myers, age 30,
Sheila Marie Allen, age 24,
Faouly Umoja, age 63,
Angelic Sharniece Bell, age 28,
Robert Steven Silver, age 29,
Sherice Myra Jones, age 28,
Juston Arlington Iler, age 31,
Janel Iona Doyle, age 33,
Francine Denise McNair, age 31,
Omar Kareem Harry, age 32, and
Taneka Sherron Merrill, age 34.
All of these defendants face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for bank fraud conspiracy and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence for aggravated identity theft. In addition, Janel Doyle faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for bank fraud and a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for access device fraud.
U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg scheduled sentencing for Hamilton, Dansbury and Carmen Doyle for July 12, July 19 and June 8, 2012, respectively.
The remaining four defendants in this case, Moadian Elam Bratton-Bey, age 29, of Baltimore; Boaz Salmon Bratton-Bey, age 29, of Essex, Maryland; Ehizelle Aydo Seignious, age 32, of Baltimore; and Wali Hamzah Smith, age 34, are scheduled for trial beginning April 16, 2012, which is expected to last three weeks. In addition to the penalties prescribed above for bank fraud conspiracy, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft faced by the four remaining defendants, defendants Seignious and Smith also face a maximum of 30 years in prison for bank fraud.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service, Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore City Police Department, Maryland State Police, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Bowie Police Department, Howard County Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department, Westminster Police Department, Vineland, New Jersey Police Department, and Delaware State Police for their assistance in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Tamera L. Fine and Justin Herring, who are prosecuting the case.