News and Press Releases

Leader Of Identity Theft Ring Targeting Government Employees Sentenced To 10 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Christopher Bush, 40, of District Heights, Md., was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, followed by four years of supervised release, for bank fraud, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  Bush was also ordered to pay full restitution to the victims.

Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kathy A. Michalko, Special Agent in Charge for the United States Secret Service’s Washington Field Office; and Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

Bush pleaded guilty on October 11, 2013. 

According to court documents, between January 2012 and July 2013, Bush and co-leader Jenaro Blalock recruited individuals with access to identity information through their employers to steal over 600 identities.  Bush used the stolen identities to make fraudulent driver’s licenses bearing the victims’ real names, addresses, and dates of birth.  Members of the identity theft ring, including Bush himself, used those fraudulent driver’s licenses and victims’ social security numbers to open credit lines at retailers and obtain rental cars, which were frequently sold on the black market with altered vehicle identification numbers.  Bush’s associate, Adrienne Pritchett, stole more than 450 identities from her employer, an insurance provider catering to employees of the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  In court documents, Bush acknowledged that the identity theft ring caused victim losses of between $400,000 and $1,000,000.

On January 10, 2014, Pritchett was sentenced to 57 months for her role in the ring.  Co-leader Jenaro Blalock will be sentenced on February 14, 2014.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Fairfax County Police Department, with assistance from the City of Fairfax Police Department, Prince George’s County W.A.V.E. (Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement), Prince George’s County Financial Crimes Section, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, Delaware State Police, Maryland State Police, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of State.  Assistant United States Attorney Lindsay Kelly and Special Assistant United States Attorney Peter Roman of the Department of Justice’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section prosecuted 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.justice.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 https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

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