Sacramento Man Pleads Guilty To Access Device Fraud, Identity Theft, And Possessing A Firearm
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Ahmad Nassar, 31, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, from August 2015 through June 2017, Nassar was engaged in identity theft, unauthorized bank account takeovers, and obtaining and using unauthorized and counterfeit access devices in the form of credit cards, debit cards, account numbers, and other financial account information. On May 10, 2017, the execution of search warrants at two properties in Sacramento associated with Nassar led to the seizure of a loaded .22 caliber handgun from underneath a pillow in a bedroom of one of the properties in which Nassar himself was found. In addition, agents seized numerous boxes containing credit cards; debit cards; mail (some with “forwarding” address labels); and federal and state government-issued identification cards, which bore the names of people other than Nassar; and at least 55 electronic devices, including computers, cellular phones, thumb and storage media drives, and other electronic devices, including a “CelleBrite” device commonly used by law enforcement to conduct forensic examinations of cellular phones. Nassar stipulated to using intricate techniques to obtain victims’ personal identifying and financial information, including online account takeovers, that continued even after search warrants were executed on his properties. Nassar’s conduct caused at least $558,276.38 in actual loss.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew M. Yelovich is prosecuting the case.
Nassar remains out of custody pending sentencing, which is scheduled before United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on February 25, 2019. Nassar faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the access device fraud and firearm possession offenses, and an additional two-year mandatory sentence for aggravated identity theft, to be served consecutively to any other sentence received. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.