Owner of Debt Collection Business Pleads Guilty to Using Company Database to Assist $1.5 Million ID Theft Ring
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Stephanie Bowman, 50, of Valley Stream, N.Y., pled guilty yesterday to providing personal identifiers to conspirators in a nationwide identity theft ring that resulted in a total loss of approximately $1.5 million involving at least 10 financial institutions.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Daniel Cortez, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service; and David E. Beach, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge T. S. Ellis III.
Bowman pled guilty on Feb. 9, 2012, to conspiring to commit bank fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when she is sentenced on April 27, 2012.
According to court documents, Bowman owned and operated Supreme Judgment Recovery, a debt collection business located in Elmont, N.Y. From July 2007 through 2009, Bowman conspired with others a nationwide fraud scheme to steal money from individuals and financial institutions, corruptly retrieving the personal identifiers – such as dates of birth, social security numbers, and addresses – of individuals in the company’s computer database and providing the information to Clyde Austin Gray, Jr., of Waldorf, Md., and others within the conspiracy.
The conspirators used this information to make counterfeit driver’s licenses and military identification cards, which were distributed along with counterfeit checks drawn on the victims’ bank accounts and other bank account information to other co-conspirators. Using the IDs and stolen bank information to impersonate victims, the conspirators made split deposit transactions – depositing a check drawn on the bank account of another victim and then siphoning the money out of the falsely inflated account. According to court documents associated with this conspiracy, the total fraud loss, including intended loss, attributed to the conspiracy is approximately $1.5 million.
To date, 12 individuals have been convicted as part of this conspiracy. Gray was sentenced to 136 months in prison on Nov. 13, 2009, and another ringleader, Leonardo Darnell Zanders, of Dolton, Ill., was sentenced to 200 months in prison on Jan. 22, 2010.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Belevetz is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.