Two Connecticut Men Charged with Using Stolen Identities to Steal Vehicles
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Robert Fuller, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned a nine-count indictment charging TYSHON WALKER, 38, of Naugatuck, and ELVIS PEREZ, also known as “Pops,” 58, of Bridgeport, with offenses related to a series of vehicle thefts from dealerships utilizing personal information from identity theft victims.
The indictment was returned on July 11, 2023. Perez was arrested on July 19 and Walker surrendered to law enforcement yesterday. They appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven and entered pleas of not guilty. Perez was ordered detained and Walker was released on a $250,000 bond.
As alleged in the indictment, since at least September 2020, Walker, Perez, and others utilized personal information stolen from residents of Connecticut and other states to apply for vehicle loans at dealerships in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island for motorcycles, an all-terrain vehicle, and other performance vehicles. Once the loan was approved by the dealership using the identity theft victim’s information, Walker would send a series of runners, including Perez, Mark Goff, and Thomas Owen, to pick up the vehicle utilizing a fictitious driver’s license that included the identity theft victim’s information and a photograph of the runner. The vehicle was then transported back to Connecticut for resale on Facebook Marketplace.
The indictment charges Walker and Perez with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. Walker is also charged with three counts of wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count, two counts of aggravated identity theft, which carry a mandatory consecutive term of imprison of two years on each count, and two counts of interstate transportation of stolen vehicles, which carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count. Perez is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.
Goff, 48, and Owen, 26, both of Ansonia, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and identity theft charges stemming from this scheme and await sentencing.
In a related case, Nuvar Foster, 30, of Waterbury previously pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen vehicle stemming from the fraudulent purchase of a 2020 Harley Davidson motorcycle from a dealership in Warwick, Rhode Island in December 2020. On February 21, 2023, he was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $20,000, the amount he received when he resold the motorcycle.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendants who are awaiting trial are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, the Bridgeport Police Department, the Hopkinton (R.I.) Police Department, the Westtown – East Goshen Regional (Pa.) Police Department, and the Washington Township (N.J.) Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren C. Clark and Heather M. Cherry.