Fallston Man Sentenced in Three Year Fraud Scheme Using Dead Neighbor’s Identity
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Jerome Anthony Malecki, age 56, of Fallston, Maryland, today to 12 months and 1 day in prison, followed by six months of home confinement and $140,729 restitution for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division; and Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.
According to his plea agreement, from July 2004 to November 2007, Malecki and co-conspirator David Johnson used the identity of Malecki’s next door neighbor, who had died in July 2004, to fraudulently obtain and renew credit accounts in the dead man’s name, and to steal and convert his financial assets. These assets include approximately $95,000 in social security and state pension payments from Baltimore County that were deposited in the victim’s bank account following his death. The death was not reported to the Social Security Administration or Baltimore County.
Prior to his neighbor’s death, Malecki had performed odd jobs for his neighbor and obtained a key to his neighbor’s home. After his neighbor’s death, Malecki and Johnson used the key to enter the victim’s home. In order to conceal their criminal activity and make it appear that the victim was still alive, Malecki stole mail from the victim’s mailbox, kept the lawn mowed and set a timer to turn on the lights. Eventually, Malecki arranged for another individual to live in the victim’s home and bring the victim’s mail to Malecki. Malecki opened the mail, including financial and credit card statements, and directed Johnson how to handle payments. Malecki and Johnson continued to make unauthorized payments using the victim’s funds.
By the time the fraud was uncovered in November 2007, Malecki and Johnson had made thousands of dollars of unauthorized charges and had left an outstanding balance of $47,102 in credit card debt in the victim’s name. At least $140,000 in loss is reasonably foreseeable to Malecki based on his role in the conspiracy.
David Anthony Johnson, age 47, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and to aggravated identity theft. His sentencing is scheduled for February 26, 2010 at 2:15 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Rachel Miller Yasser and Special Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Teelucksingh, who prosecuted the case.