FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - October 8, 2008
FUQUAY-VARINA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES
GREENVILLE - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday GERMAINE GAUSE SMITH, 33, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel to wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; unlawful use of an access devise, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(5); and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A. A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 4, 2008. While SMITH was working in an assisted living facility in New York, she obtained the personal information, social security numbers, dates of birth and other information, and documents from two residents. SMITH moved to North Carolina in 2007. While here, and utilizing the previously obtained social security numbers and dates of birth, SMITH tried to obtain credit cards from First Premiere Bank and Capital One Bank, via the Internet, by using each resident’s name.
The investigation revealed that in December, 2007, SMITH worked as a home health medical aide to a handicapped male. While in that position, SMITH obtained debit and cards from a parent of the patient. It was also revealed that on December 2, 2007, SMITH, using a stolen debit card, purchased approximately $1,000.00 in merchandise from Wal-Mart. Also on December 2, 2007, the debit card was used to place an Internet order from J.C. Penney in the amount of $2,301.48. The merchandise was to be shipped to SMITH’s address in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.
On December 3, 2007, again SMITH tried to purchase merchandise from Wal-Mart, using the stolen debit card, however, the transaction was declined.
On December 6, 2007, a stolen Capital One Master-Card was used to place an Internet order from J.C. Penney in the amount of $1,572.43. Again, the merchandise was to be shipped to SMITH’s address.
Mr. Holding commented: “This case is particularly troubling because the defendant took advantage of some of our most vulnerable fellow citizens. Shamefully, this defendant stole from the elderly and handicapped in a scheme that really cries out for justice. As such, we are proud to team with the United States Postal Inspection Service to bring this matter into court.”
The maximum penalty for wire fraud is up to 20 years imprisonment followed by three years supervised release and a fine or up to $250,000.00. For the charge of unlawful use of access device, the maximum penalty is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.00. For each count of aggravated identity theft, SMITH faces a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment, consecutive to any other sentence imposed; up to $250,000.00 fine, and/or such fine and imprisonment; and up to 1 year supervised released.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Felice McConnell Corpening served as prosecutor for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.