News and Press Releases


THURSDAY - May 5, 2011


RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt re-sentenced the lead defendant in the identity theft ring case. XAVIER VIDAL JENNETTE, 38, of the Washington, D.C. area, was sentenced to 121 months imprisonment for his crimes. This was the same sentence JENNETTE received in 2007 after a jury in Raleigh convicted JENNETTE of conspiracy, fraud, and aggravated identity theft. JENNETTE has been in custody since that time. The case had been returned to the district court for re-sentencing by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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 the 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 again 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” said Mr. Holding.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, with assistance from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. The case was handled by the Economic Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with Assistant United States Attorney Clay C. Wheeler prosecuting the case for the government.


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