News and Press Releases

new bern men sentenced in identity theft scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2012

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on October 1, 2012, JEFFREY GLENN TOOHEY, 42, and CHRISTOPHER FLEMING, 29, were sentenced by Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt.  TOOHEY pled guilty to a six-count Criminal Information filed on May 17, 2012, which charged him with one count of identity theft and aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028(a)(7) and 2; one count of access device fraud and aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1029(a)(2) and 2; two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A; one count of bank fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344; and one count of conspiracy to present false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286.  FLEMING pled guilty to a three-count Criminal Information filed on July 9, 2012, which charged him with one count of identity theft and aiding and abetting, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1028(a)(7) and 2; one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, and one count of conspiracy to present false claims, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 286.

TOOHEY was sentenced to 125 months of imprisonment, 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $600 special assessment, and $261,354.01 in restitution.  FLEMING was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, 3 years supervised release, and ordered to pay a $300 special assessment, and $204,799.00 in restitution.

The charges stem from a fraudulent scheme beginning in or around December 2009, and continuing until in or around July 2011.  TOOHEY fraudulently opened credit card accounts using stolen identities.  Once the fraudulent accounts were opened, TOOHEY and FLEMING purchased items using the fraudulent accounts.

Further in October 2010, TOOHEY and FLEMING broke into the New Bern Jackson Hewitt tax office, stealing over 300 files containing personal information of tax clients.  After the tax files were stolen they then went to places with public WI-FI access where Yahoo and Gmail accounts were established using the personal information contained in the tax files.  Once email accounts were established, TOOHEY filed 2010 tax returns in the names of the Jackson Hewitt clients and directed the tax refunds to either debit cards, which were mailed to addresses which TOOHEY and FLEMING knew were vacant, or to bank accounts that were opened, using fraudulent and unauthorized information.  When the tax refund proceeds were received, TOOHEY and FLEMING used the funds to purchase various items.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Postal Service, the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, the Morehead City Police Department, the Trent Woods Police Department, the New Bern Police Department and the Jacksonville Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Felice Corpening is prosecuting the case.

 

 

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