News and Press Releases

Serial Identity Thief Handed Prison Sentence

   
April 23, 2012

HOUSTON - Sharif John Reid, 37, of League City, Texas, has been handed a total of 75 months in prison sentence for his conviction of aggravated identity theft and access device fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Reid pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 2012.

Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Reid to 51 months for the access device fraud and a mandatory 24-month term for aggravated identity theft which must be served consecutively for a total sentence of 75 months. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hoyt took into consideration the nature of the offense, Reid’s criminal history and the need to protect the public from Reid’s further crimes. Reid will also serve a three-year-term of supervised release following completion of his sentence. In addition, Judge Hoyt ordered Reid to pay restitution in the amount of $157,501.

According to documents in support of his plea, Reid attempted to purchase Apple iPads and iPhones at the Memorial City Apple store Aug. 7, 2011, by using several unauthorized credit card numbers. When asked to produce identification, Reid produced a fraudulent Florida driver’s license in the name of another person but bearing Reid’s photograph. Apple loss prevention officers immediately recognized the name on the card as the name used to make more than $200,000 in purchases of Apple electronic equipment using fraudulent credit card numbers at Apple store locations in Louisiana and throughout Texas. At that time, Houston Police Department (HPD) officers and Apple loss prevention officers arrested Reid. A subsequent search revealed that Reid was in possession of 18 unauthorized access devices each bearing that same name.

HPD officers inventoried the rental car Reid was driving and found 20 additional unauthorized credit cards in the fraudulent name as well as one debit card in the name of Reid. HPD officers also found four iPads and four iPhones valued at more than $6,000 that had been purchased the same day at the Apple stores in the Galleria and Sugar Land using unauthorized cards that matched the numbers found in Reid’s possession.

A CitiBank fraud investigator advised the USSS that the unauthorized access device numbers possessed by Reid and issued by CitiBank were some of hundreds of card numbers that had been skimmed (compromised) at a commercial business in Austin, Texas. All 38 of the access devices found in Reid’s possession were stolen or had been obtained by Reid with intent to defraud.  Reid further admitted he had been previously convicted of access device fraud in another case and was still serving a term of supervised release at the time of the commission of the offense. On Feb. 23, 2012, United States District Judge Nancy Atlas sentenced Reid to an additional one year in prison to be served consecutively to the 75 months for violating the terms of his supervised release.

The matter was investigated by USSS and HPD and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Buchanan.

 

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