News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - February 5, 2009

FUQUAY-VARINA WOMAN SENTENCED ON IDENTITY THEFT
AND RELATED CHARGES

NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced GERMAINE GAUSE SMITH, 34, of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, to 32 months’ imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. Restitution in the amount of $3,018.68 was imposed.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on June 4, 2008. On October 7, 2008, SMITH pled guilty to wire fraud, unlawful use of an access device and two counts of aggravated identity theft. 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 credit 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: “Identity theft continues to be one of the most serious crimes plaguing our society today. In this instance, the crime was particularly egregious because the defendant preyed upon especially vulnerable victims.”

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Fuquay-Varina Police Department.

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.

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