Convicted Fraudster Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Buy Merchandise Using Stolen Identifying Information of Others to Open Instant Credit Accounts

Convicted in a Similar Scheme in 2007

November 5, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - After three days of trial, Lavon Richard Caldwell, age 31, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud and four counts of 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 Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.

According to evidence introduced at trial which Caldwell admitted to at today’s hearing, from September 2011 to February 3, 2012 Caldwell used the personal identifying information of individual victims, without their knowledge, to obtain credit accounts in the victims’ names to purchase merchandise from retail stores, including designer clothing, electronics and other personal items, without intending to pay for the merchandise. Caldwell used fake driver’s licenses and other identifying information to assume the identity of the victims.

Caldwell used the personal identifying information of five individual victims, without their consent, to purchase and attempt to purchase merchandise, including luxury items, such as Hermes sweaters and Gucci bags, electronics, and other personal items, totaling at least $70,677.52.

Caldwell was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a similar scheme and was sentenced to 61 months in federal prison. As a result of his guilty plea today, Caldwell could face up to three years in prison for violating his supervised release.

Caldwell faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for bank fraud; and a mandatory minimum of two years in prison on one count of aggravated identity theft consecutive to the sentence for bank fraud, and a maximum of two years in prison on each of the other three counts of aggravated identity theft, for a total maximum sentence of 38 years. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled sentencing for February 20, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Budlow and Michael Cunningham, who are prosecuting the case.

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