News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - June 9, 2009

NEW YORK MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO IDENTITY THEFT CHARGES

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday ERSKINE ALFONZA SPRUILL, 46, of Roosevelt, New York, pled guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever to use of counterfeit devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(1); possession of device-making equipment, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(4); and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). According to the Plea Agreement, SPRUILL also agreed to pay restitution in the total amount of $134,976.85 to the dozens of businesses that lost money in connection with SPRUILL’s conduct.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on February 19, 2009. On January 24, 2009, SPRUILL produced and used counterfeit credit cards at the Best Buy and Sam Ash stores on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. SPRUILL produced and used counterfeit credit cards at the Travelers Inn on Road Street in Elizabeth City, and the Guitar Center on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. On January 25, 2009, SPRUILL used counterfeit credit cards at Ruby Tuesday, Guitar Center, Sam Ash, Circuit City, and CVS Pharmacy in Raleigh. The following day, he used a counterfeit credit card at Macy’s on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. SPRUILL used identification belonging to another person in relation to the January 24 and 25 transactions at the Guitar Center.

Mr. Holding commented, “The use of counterfeit credit cards and identity theft continues to be one of the greatest financial threats we face. And it affects us in such personal ways; as one’s financial affairs being thrown into turmoil by this crime. We look forward to the sentencing in this case as we try to send a message to those who would commit these crimes.”

The maximum penalty for the charges of fraudulent use of a counterfeit access device and possession of 15 or more access devises is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For possession of device-making equipment, SPRUILL faces up to 15 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For the charge of aggravated identity theft, SPRUILL faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of two years consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed for the counts of fraudulent use of a counterfeit access device.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Crabtree Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore is serving 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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