Convicted Felon on Parole Sentenced on Firearms And Fraud Charges
Used Stolen Identities to Obtain Fraudulent Unemployment Benefits
DETROIT – A Lathrup Village resident was sentenced today to 78 months in prison after having pleaded guilty to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, announced Acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin.
Mohsin was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.
William Henry Berry, 30, was sentenced this afternoon before United States District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy in Detroit. Berry was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $52,536.00.
According to court records, Berry came to the attention of the FBI during an investigation into a series of shootings between rival gangs in the Detroit area. Phone records placed Berry’s cell phone at the scene of four of those shootings. During a subsequent search of Berry’s home agents recovered a loaded American Tactical Omni Hybrid outfitted with a “red dot” sight. Berry, who was on parole at the time, having previously been convicted of armed robbery, was prohibited from possessing a firearm. In addition, agents discovered cash, bank cards in several other peoples’ names, and a notebook with names, addresses, and social security numbers of identity theft victims. Further investigation revealed that Berry had used the stolen identities to obtain over $52,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
“Berry committed these serious felonies while on state parole demonstrating his contempt for the law,” said acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin. “As a parolee, Berry chose not to become a productive member of society, but instead returned to violent criminal activity, identity theft and fraud. There is no parole in the federal system. Today’s sentence protects the public by ensuring Berry will remain incarcerated for a significant period of time.”
“This case is an example of how violent criminals have diversified their illegal activities in an attempt to thwart enforcement efforts," said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Detroit. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate and shut down criminal enterprises in any form."
Mohsin commended the work of the FBI in investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Picek prosecuted the case.