FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday - November 6, 2006
RALEIGH JURY CONVICTS MAN WHO USED
“TOP SECRET” SECURITY CLEARANCE TO COMMIT IDENTITY THEFT
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that a jury in Raleigh, N. C. convicted XAVIER VIDAL JENNETTE of conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The jury returned its verdict Friday, following a week-long trial in federal court before Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt.
Three others had been charged and previously pled guilty in this case: ANTHONY DURRAND WALLACE, age 36, of Raleigh, N. C.; AIESHA DEMETRIA HORTON, age 30, of Raleigh, N. C.; and TOYA LENETTE SADLER, age 30, of Washington, N. C. All three pled guilty to conspiring with JENNETTE in an extensive identity theft ring in the Raleigh, N.C. area.
JENNETTE, age 33, of the Washington, D. C. area, worked as the Facilities Security Officer, or “FSO”, for a United States government contractor in Alexandria, Virginia. The contractor provided software and services to various government military and intelligence agencies. As FSO, and with a “Top Secret” security clearance, JENNETTE was entrusted with the personal identification information of the contractor’s 120+ employees. The information included social security numbers as well as information concerning the employees’ security clearances.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that, when JENNETTE left his employment with the contractor in late 2004, he stole the personal information he had been entrusted with and brought it to North Carolina. In North Carolina, JENNETTE, along with WALLACE, HORTON, and SADLER, used the stolen information in a broad identity theft scheme. The defendants launched the scheme by opening credit accounts with cell phone companies and various “big box” retailers. Many of the fraudulent applications were made over the internet, but defendants were particularly successful in opening “instant credit” accounts at the retailers. These “instant credit” accounts allowed the defendants and their co-conspirators to begin using fraudulently obtained accounts immediately.
Impersonating JENNETTE’S former colleagues, the defendants obtained cell phones and cell phone services for their own use, and defendants JENNETTE and WALLACE also obtained phones for the purpose of “fencing” them to generate cash.
The defendants also obtained merchandise from the “big box” retailers, again, both for personal use and for the purpose of fencing them. Items fenced included televisions, videogame systems, iPod music players, and chainsaws.
The jury found JENNETTE guilty on all six counts against him. Sentencing of JENNETTE is scheduled for February, 2007. JENNETTE is in custody pending sentencing.
“By stealing and using the large amount of personal information entrusted to him, the defendant caused irreparable harm to his victims,” said United States Attorney George E. B. Holding. “We will aggressively prosecute these types of crimes.”
Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, with assistance from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Clay C. Wheeler prosecuted the case for the United States.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.