West Haven Woman involved in Scheme to Steal COVID-19 Relief Funds from the City Sentenced to Prison
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LISA REID, 47, of Amityville, New York, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 90 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for victimizing dozens of individuals in an identity theft and credit card fraud scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between February 2015 and January 2017, Reid was involved in a scheme to defraud credit card companies and their customers by fraudulently taking over credit card accounts and, using those accounts, making unauthorized purchases from high-end retailers.
As part of her scheme, Reid used publicly available information to obtain phone numbers for individuals living in affluent areas. She then called her victims pretending to be a representative of a credit card company and claiming that the company needed information about their account. The victims then provided Reid with their account information, including credit card numbers and passwords. Reid then contacted the credit card company, pretending to be the victim. After providing all of the requested security information, she added a new phone number and address to the account. The address was typically an abandoned or foreclosed property near her home in New York. Reid then used the compromised credit card accounts to order merchandise from high-end retailers and had the merchandise shipped to an address that she had previously added to the credit card account. After Reid, or a “runner,” retrieved the merchandise, she sold it at a pawnshop or to another individual.
Through this scheme, Reid stole the identities of more than 50 individuals, most of whom were senior citizens, and used their credit card information to purchase more than $1 million in merchandise. Victim credit card companies successfully thwarted approximately $3.8 million worth of Reid’s attempted purchases.
Judge Shea ordered Reid to pay restitution in the amount of $1,009,235.69.
On December 20, 2016, federal agents executed a search warrant at Reid’s residence and also attempted to arrest Reid. Investigators learned that Reid had fled to Florida where she committed another fraudulent credit card purchase of a $50,500 Cartier watch using a compromised account.
Reid has been detained since her arrest on February 5, 2017.
On November 7, 2017, Reid pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
In October 2010, Reid was convicted in the Eastern District of Kentucky of federal bank fraud and aggravated identity theft offenses, and was sentenced to 27 months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release. The convictions stemmed from a similar credit card takeover scheme that also defrauded victims of approximately $1 million.
Reid, who was on supervised release during her most recent criminal conduct, may face additional penalties in the Eastern District of Kentucky.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Greenwich Police Department and Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, which included the U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Connecticut State Police and the Shelton, Stamford, Hartford and Norwalk Police Departments. The U.S. Marshals Service assisted the investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Pierpont, Jr.
The Justice Department has established a National Elder Fraud Hotline to provide services to seniors who may be victims of financial fraud. The Hotline is staffed by experienced case managers who can provide personalized support to callers. Case managers assist callers with reporting the suspected fraud to relevant agencies and by providing resources and referrals to other appropriate services as needed. When applicable, case managers will complete a complaint form with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) for Internet-facilitated crimes and submit a consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission on behalf of the caller. The Hotline’s toll free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).