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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Inglewood Gang Member Sentenced To Nearly 5 Years In Prison For Running Identity Theft Ring The Produced Counterfeit Credit Cards

LOS ANGELES – An Inglewood gang member was sentenced this afternoon to 57 months in federal prison for running an identity theft ring that victimized scores of individuals and merchants in three states, resulting in an estimated $1 million in financial losses.

Lancelot Joshua Wilburn, who used the moniker “El Dog,” 33, a member of the Queen Street Bloods street gang, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee. In addition to the prison term, Judge Gee ordered the defendant to pay just over $50,000 in restitution.

Wilburn pleaded guilty in June to four felony counts: possessing counterfeit or unauthorized access devices (credit cards), possessing device-making equipment, using counterfeit access devices and aggravated identity theft.

From January 2011 to May 2012, Wilburn and his co-conspirators used stolen account numbers, counterfeit credit cards, and fake drivers’ licenses to rent cars and purchase luxury items in California, Nevada and Kansas. Wilburn and those acting at his direction converted merchandise into cash by repeatedly exchanging fraudulently purchased items for other luxury goods, gift cards and cash refunds.

The stolen personal identifying information came from stolen medical intake forms, Russian computer hackers and other sources. According to court records, authorities executed a search warrant on Wilburn’s apartment in May 2012. Inside the residence, agents found a counterfeit credit card manufacturing plant, hundreds of stolen medical profiles, counterfeit credit cards, counterfeit currency, counterfeit drivers licenses, stolen credit reports, 770 stolen credit card numbers and 166 counterfeit American Express Traveler’s Checks.

Wilburn continued his criminal activity even after being arrested in Kansas in 2012 in relation to the use of counterfeit credit cards. While in custody there, Willburn threatened to kill a cooperating witness, and he directed others to destroy evidence and remotely “wipe” his seized cell phones. While he was free on bond in the Kansad case, Wilburn directed associates to steal more medical profiles, and to raise additional money for his defense by using the counterfeit credit cards at Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue and other retailers.

In a sentencing memo filed with the court, prosecutors wrote that Wilburn “has mocked the criminal justice system by threatening violence against cooperators, attempting to bribe witnesses, and destroying evidence.”

The case against Wilburn was the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Inglewood Police Department; the Los Angeles Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; and the California Highway Patrol provided assistance.

Release No. 14-143

Updated June 22, 2015