Man Sentenced to 12.5 Years in Prison for Identity Theft Scheme
Las Vegas, Nev. – A Southern California man who organized and operated an identity theft scheme in which he and eight co-conspirators stole credit card information and ran up about $1 million in expenses on victims' accounts, was sentenced on December 12, 2007, to 12.5 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution, announced Steven W. Myhre, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Kamaludeen Adeboye Giwa, 36, pleaded guilty in September to Conspiracy, False Official Statement, Mail Fraud, Identity Theft, and Access Device Fraud. Between about July 2003 and October 2004, Giwa and eight others, Jacqueline Ferreira, Paul Shin, Tanesha Thomas, Shavina Yepez, Jose Masa, Vernon Robinson, Hassan Iddrissu, and Annice Allen, unlawfully obtained the credit card account information of others and went on a spending spree that included purchasing stereo and computer equipment and expensive watches in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas. Allen, a former employee at and American Express Travel in Southern California, provided hundreds of traveler profiles containing credit card account numbers to Giwa. Giwa then provided the profiles to Shin, who worked for several different mortgage companies in Southern California. Shin accessed approximately 900 credit reports, and Giwa used them to determine which victims had high credit limits and to call the credit card issuer to request replacement credit cards. The replacement cards were sent to postal boxes the conspirators opened in assumed names in Las Vegas and Southern California.
The Court increased Giwa's sentence because the offenses involved more than 10 victims, and because he was the leader and organizer of the conspiracy. Giwa has a lengthy criminal record, including two prior federal fraud convictions.
The eight co-defendants also pleaded guilty. Jacqueline Ferreira was sentenced to 54 months in prison; Paul Shin was sentenced to 51 months in prison; Vernon Robinson was sentenced to 30 months in prison; Jose Masa was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of home confinement; Annice Allen was sentenced to five years of probation; and Shavina Yepez was sentenced to time served. Tanesha Thomas and Hassan Iddrissu are scheduled to be sentenced in January 2008.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Johnson.