Medical Worker Sentenced to Prison in Identity Theft Scheme
Used Stolen Identities of at least 49 Individuals to Buy a Luxury Car and other Merchandise
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Christel Ebony Norwood, age 32, of Ft. Washington, Maryland today to 30 months 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 Chasanow also ordered Norwood to pay restitution of $27,433.68.
According to her guilty plea, Norwood used her temporary employment at two medical facilities to steal the names, dates of birth, social security numbers and other identifying information of at least 49 individuals. She and her co-conspirators used the stolen identities to purchase goods at retail stores and a Maryland car dealership, where some of her co-conspirators worked. The co-conspirators were paid for allowing Norwood to purchase items at these stores.
For example, in June 2007, Norwood used stolen identity information of a victim to forward the victim’s mail to a mail box that Norwood controlled. Norwood also used the victim’s stolen identity to obtain $35,560.20 from a bank to finance her purchase of a 2002 Mercedes-Benz coupe.
In September 2007, law enforcement officers observed Norwood driving the Mercedes-Benz at a mall in Springfield, Virginia and arrested her. The officers found a counterfeit Washington, D.C. driver’s license and three credit cards in the name of another victim in her purse, along with items purchased at a retail store using the second victim’s identity. Norwood admitted to fraudulently using the credit cards and driver’s license, which she claimed were obtained through a third party. A search of Norwood’s home revealed the stolen identity information of at least 49 individuals. Officers also discovered that Norwood, using at least four of the stolen identities, had accumulated at least $15,225 in fraudulent charges at three retail stores.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Su, who prosecuted the case.