News and Press Releases

Theft Ring Opened “Instant Credit” Accounts Using Victims’ Identities

June 25, 2010

JEANIA ANDREA DYSON, 36, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison and five years of supervised release for Bank Fraud, Social Security Number Misuse, and Aggravated Identity theft. DYSON was the leader of an identity theft ring that would use stolen identities to open “instant credit” accounts at various retailers. At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik noted that DYSON victimized a large number of people, had four previous criminal convictions, and “continues to return to a life of crime.”

DYSON was the leader of an extensive identity theft ring that hit retailers around the Puget Sound region. DYSON provided identities to co-conspirators Gordon Robert Burrage, 46, of Federal Way, Washington, Stephanie Leaann Locke, 30, of Burien, Washington, Valorie Almeta Dade, 59, and Dade’s daughter, Lakaia Cherie Dade, 36, both of Seattle. Using the false identities, the co-conspirators would open “instant credit accounts” at large retailers. If the account was successfully opened, the conspirators would quickly go to other outlets of the retailer and purchase thousands of dollars of goods from a shopping list provided by DYSON. DYSON would then sell the goods on the black market or provide them as payment to other members of the scheme. Some 42 victims had their identities stolen and used in this way, racking up more than $130,000 in charges. Most victims did not know they had been victimized until the instant credit charges started rolling in weeks later.

DYSON is the last of the ring to be sentenced. Valorie Dade was sentenced to 51 months in prison, Lakaia Dade was sentenced to 36 months in prison, Gordon Burrage was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Stephanie Locke was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan.

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

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