News and Press Releases

BRAZEN IDENTITY THIEF SENTENCED TO 6+ YEARS IN PRISON
Repeat Offender Used ID’s Stolen from Medical Clinic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2006

JAMES LEROY HENDERSON, 62, of Des Moines, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 74 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $120,125 in restitution for Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez noted that the offense caused substantial harm to the victims’ credit and reputation.

According to the plea agreement, HENDERSON obtained personal identifying information from others, and used that information to create false identifications and to drain victim’s bank accounts. Some of the false identifications were obtained by others who accessed medical records late at night at Virginia Mason Medical Center. Between January 2005, and January 2006, HENDERSON used some of that personal information to make a $6,000 wire transfer from one victim’s account into his own bank account. In other instances he used counterfeit drivers licenses from Wyoming, California, Florida and New Jersey to make more than $120,000 in withdrawals from victim’s bank accounts. It was as he attempted to make a last withdrawal in January 2006, at a Washington Mutual Bank branch in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, that an alert teller called police. The teller attempted to stall HENDERSON while she waited for officers, but he ran from the bank. HENDERSON was spotted a few blocks away, ran from officers, but ultimately was arrested at gunpoint.

In asking for a significant sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Rice noted that HENDERSON has a lengthy criminal history including convictions for bank robbery, armed robbery, second degree burglary, assault, and resisting arrest. Rice said HENDERSON’s crimes violated the victim’s sense of security and safety, and effects the larger community.

HENDERSON blamed his crimes on his 38 year addiction to heroin. He told the judge, “I consider my life has been wasted because of my addiction.” Judge Martinez said as he imposed sentence, “It is sad he thinks his life was wasted, but in many respects, perhaps it was.” Judge Martinez said he would recommend that HENDERSON get drug treatment while incarcerated.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), the FBI and the Seattle Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Rice of the Eastern District of Washington. The Eastern District handled prosecution of the case because one of the victims of the identity theft is an employee of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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