News

Owings Mills Man Sentenced to over Three Years in Prison for Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Earl Ellington, age 33, of Owings Mills, Maryland, today to 40 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after Ellington pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. As part of his plea agreement, Ellington is required to pay restitution of up to $51,000 to the victims of his crime. Judge Blake will enter an order of restitution once the exact amount due to the victims is determined.

The guilty plea and sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Robert B. Wemyss of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division.

According to Ellington’s guilty plea, between August 2006 and March 2010, Ellington defrauded financial institutions by using the bank accounts of businesses without their knowledge to obtain cash and to pay his personal expenses. Ellington also attempted to defraud financial institutions by

As part of the scheme, Ellington used his position as a driver for A&L Foods to obtain access to business names, bank account numbers, bank routing numbers, and other identifying information of businesses which were customers of A&L Foods. As part of his responsibilities as a truck driver for A&L Foods, Ellington made food deliveries to restaurants and other customers and was responsible for receiving payment, in the form of checks, from those customers. Beginning sometime around August 2006, through March 2010, Ellington fraudulently accessed the checking account of a restaurant, which was a customer of A&L Foods, using the account to obtain cash, and to pay his and his family’s personal bills and expenses, including car insurance, telephone service and rent payments, totaling approximately $51,841.

In the spring of 2010, when the bank began to decline the transactions, Ellington attempted to make the payments from the business accounts of other customers of A&L Foods.

In addition, Ellington obtained personal identifying information of persons from sources other than A&L Foods. Ellington obtained access to names, social security numbers, and other personal identifying information of individuals without their knowledge or consent, and used the information to fraudulently apply for credit from financial institutions and to access existing accounts at financial institutions. For example, from April 19, 2009, through June 20, 2010, Ellington used an individual’s personal information without their knowledge to open a credit account in their name, then used the account to attempt to make approximately $9,855.07 in cash advances and bill payments.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its work in the investigation and thanked the Baltimore County Police Department for its assistance in this case. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who prosecuted the case.

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