George E. B. Holding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, April 2, 2007
MAN WHO USED “TOP SECRET” SECURITY CLEARANCE
TO COMMIT IDENTITY THEFT SENTENCED TO OVER 10 YEARS IN PRISON
THREE CO-DEFENDANTS SENTENCED AS WELL
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that on Friday, March 30, 2007, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced the lead defendant in an identity theft ring in United States v. Xavier Vidal Jennette et al., No. 5:06-CR-147-BR.
XAVIER VIDAL JENNETTE, 33, of the Washington, D. C. area, was sentenced to 121 months imprisonment for his crimes. Last fall, a jury in Raleigh convicted JENNETTE of conspiracy, fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
JENNETTE 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. JENNETTE was responsible for using this personal identification information to assist employees with their security clearances at government work-sites.
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 three co-defendants, 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 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.
“This is a just sentence for a shocking abuse of trust. By stealing and using the large amount of personal information entrusted to him, the defendant caused irreparable harm to his victims, victims who were assisting in the country’s defense. This prosecution is part of our obligation to defend those who are defending our country” said United States Attorney George E. B. Holding.
JENNETTE’S three co-defendants were sentenced earlier in March. ANTHONY DURRAND WALLACE, age 36, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was sentenced to 34 months imprisonment and three years of supervision following release; AIESHA DEMETRIA HORTON, age 30, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was sentenced to 17 months imprisonment and three years of supervision following her release; and TOYA LENETTE SADLER, age 30, of Washington, North Carolina, was sentenced to 7 months in a community corrections center, followed by three years of supervised release.
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.
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