News and Press Releases


July 28, 2005

MONICA JONES, 39, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced to six years in prison, five years of supervised release and $856,878 in restitution for her role as a leader of a major identity theft ring that committed more than a million dollars in Bank Fraud. More than twenty banks and merchants suffered losses, and more than 200 people had their credit histories damaged. In handing down the sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik noted that "identity theft devastates lives and families.... It is a source of great stress for people... sometimes causing divorce and causing people to cancel education plans."

JONES pleaded guilty to one count of Bank Fraud on May 11, 2004. She admitted she recruited others to participate in the bank fraud schemes, assisted others in obtaining fraudulent identification documents, and supplied stolen means of identification. JONES also admitted that she collected the proceeds of co-conspirators' fraudulent transactions while paying them a portion of the proceeds for their efforts. JONES is the last of eleven defendants in the bank fraud and ID theft ring to be sentenced.

When agents searched JONES' house they found numerous items of designer clothing, many with the tags still on, from stores that were identified victims in this case. Agents also observed expensive electronics equipment, including a Sony flat screen television, computer equipment and exercise equipment. Agents observed a collection of high-end designer handbags. Throughout the apartment agents found literally hundreds of consumer items, most apparently recently purchased as there were numerous receipts and many items either still in shopping bags or still with the price tags attached. JONES told authorities she had not been employed since 1992.

On April 19, 2005, GARY PETER WILLIAMS, 53, of Seattle, Washington was sentenced to 136 months in prison as the leader of the I.D. theft ring.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department Fraud Unit, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Norman M. Barbosa and Executive Assistant United States Attorney Kelly L. Harris. Mr. Barbosa's position is funded by the Social Security Administration as a part of SSA's efforts to combat identity theft and Social Security fraud.

For additional information contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206)553-4110.

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