News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Jury finds Brooklyn Park man guilty of role in large, multi-state identity theft ring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2013


MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a jury found a 41-year-old Brooklyn Park man guilty of participating in a large, multi-state, identity theft ring. Following an eight-day trial, the jury convicted Gordon Lamarr Moore of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Moore, who fled during trial, was indicted along with four others on November 14, 2012. He remains a fugitive. If you have any information regarding Moore’s whereabouts, contact the United States Marshals Service at (612) 664-5900 or usms.wanted@usdoj.gov.

According to the evidence presented at trial, members of the conspiracy obtained the personal information of other people through mail theft, vehicle break-ins, and burglaries, as well as from co-conspirators who stole the information from their places of employment. That information was then used to create false identification documents, such as driver’s licenses and identification cards, along with counterfeit checks. Co-conspirators used the counterfeit checks and fraudulent identification to purchase expensive items and gift cards at retail stores. They later returned the items for cash, which was divided among those involved in the criminal activity. Co-conspirators also deposited counterfeit checks into the bank accounts of unknowing individuals, only to withdraw the funds from those same accounts a short time later. To avoid detection, co-conspirators only accessed each bank account a few times before moving on to another.

Earlier this month, two co-defendants, Shanell Collette Brewer and Samantha Catrina House, pleaded guilty to participating in the scheme. In February 2013, two others, Jerome Davis, Jr., and Jemall Ronta Williams, also pleaded guilty to the same crime.

The newly convicted defendants face a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and a mandatory minimum consecutive penalty of two years in prison on each count of identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson will determine their actual sentences at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.

In a related case, following a jury trial in September 2012, four other men were convicted of crimes connected to this same identity theft ring. They now await sentencing. Twenty-four additional co-conspirators have entered guilty pleas for their participation in the ring. They too await sentencing.

These cases resulted from an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. They are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen B. Schommer and Michelle E. Jones.

The Financial Crimes Task Force was established pursuant to state law and is comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement investigators dedicated to combating the growing problem of cross-jurisdictional financial crimes. The task force, overseen by an advisory board also created under state law, serves the entire District of Minnesota, presenting its cases to county or federal prosecutors, as appropriate.

The task force and the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office want to remind people to protect themselves from identity theft. For more information, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov/protect-identity.html.

For more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, visit https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/IdentityTheft.aspx . The IRS-Criminal Investigations also urges citizens to review the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, which can be found at http://www.irs.gov.

For tips on how to prevent mail theft, visit https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/investigations/MailFraud/fraudschemes/mailtheft/MailTheft.aspx.

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