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FORGER LINKED TO MULTIPLE IDENTITY THIEVES SENTENCED TO 5+ YEARS IN PRISON
Key Player in Bank Fraud Schemes that Victimized Dozens

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2007

RAHSAAN TAHID MOORE, 25, of Tukwila, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 64 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $543,959 in restitution for Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Mail Fraud, seven counts of Bank Fraud, Identification Document Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik told him “You made a conscious decision to steal from people. You might have thought to yourself that it was just large financial institutions, but you were stealing from little people to buy yourself nice things.”

According to court records, between 2004 and 2006, MOORE created numerous personal identification documents such as drivers’ licenses and employee badges in the names of real people but with the pictures of co-conspirators. The false identifications were used by co-conspirators who got personal information (such as bank accounts and social security numbers) from a variety of sources, including patient records at Virginia Mason Medical Clinic, and from insiders at banks and other financial institutions. In some instances co-conspirators took over bank accounts by calling banks, posing as a customer and asking that the address on an account be changed. They then arranged for a new debit card to be mailed to the address that the co-conspirator controlled. The co-conspirators would then use the debit cards, along with the false identification documents provided by MOORE, to purchase goods and to buy money orders at local retailers and post offices. In some instances, co-conspirators withdrew money from victims’ bank accounts and home equity lines of credits by impersonating real account holders inside banks and credit unions using false identification documents manufactured by MOORE. MOORE also created more than 100 phony checks that were deposited to co-conspirators’ accounts from which cash was withdrawn before the check was returned as counterfeit.

MOORE had been previously convicted of Forgery in Pierce County, Washington in 2003. When he was arrested on July 25, 2006, he had a .357 Glock in his car. As a convicted felon MOORE was barred from possessing a firearm.

MOORE’s fake identifications have been linked to dozens of ID theft cases with more than $500,000 in losses. Chief Judge Lasnik noted “these were not people stealing to put food on the table or to buy medicine for relatives... This was to fund a lavish lifestyle.”

While banks and financial institutions suffered a monetary loss, the victims whose identities were stolen suffered trying to repair the damage to their bank accounts and credit. Victims wrote to the court about how they suffered identity theft just as they were trying to deal with a breast cancer diagnosis or other medical problems. Some saw thousands of dollars disappear from their bank accounts overnight. One wrote to the judge, “We do not want to live in fear but with our privacy violated, it continues to be a constant worry that our private information is still in the hands of criminals.”

Two defendants who used MOORE’s documents to commit bank fraud and identity theft were also sentenced today. ANTHONY DWAYNE PURDMON, 23, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, five years of supervised release and $106,500 in restitution for Bank Fraud. APRIL ANNE TYSON, 23, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and $32,850 in restitution for Bank Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), the King County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant united States Attorney Susan Loitz as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Working Group on Identity Theft.

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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