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May 21, 2009

TWO CHARGED IN INTERSTATE IDENTITY THEFT ENTERPRISE

(HOUSTON) – A federal grand jury in Houston has returned a two-count indictment charging John Lewis Hill II, of Savannah, Tenn., and Alan Tendai Magodoro, of Fontana, Calif., with conspiracy to commit Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. 

The indictment was returned this afternoon in federal court. Hill, 37, is expected to surrender to federal authorities in Houston on Tuesday, May 27, 2009, while Magodoro, 33, is expected to surrender himself to federal authorities in California next week. 

Hill and Magadoro are accused of conspiring to sell the identities of more than 100 individuals - most belonging to minors - to various individuals including a woman in Houston who operated a credit repair business. 

According to allegations in the indictment, from February until April 2009, Hill and Magadoro obtained the Social Security and other personal identification information of the victims, added lines of credit and other information to the credit reports associated with the victim’s identity to bolster the credit score, then sold the Social Security number and other personal identification information to others for use in obtaining home, automobile and other consumer loans. 

According to allegations in the indictment, Hill told a potential buyer he could obtain Social Security numbers for $750 each. In January 2009, Hill allegedly provided two Social Security numbers supplied by Magodoro to a potential buyer and demanded  payment of $5100.

Hill and Magodoro face up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit Social Security fraud. A conviction for aggravated identity theft charge carries a two-year mandatory term of imprisonment which must be served consecutive to any other sentenced imposed. Both offenses also carry a maximum fine of $250,000.

This case was investigated by United States Secret Service with the assistance of Harris County Sheriff’s Department Special Investigations Unit and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ryan D. McConnell.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

 

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