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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Friday, May 15, 2015

New Jersey Man Sentenced To 12 Years For Identity Theft Fraud Scheme

PHILADELPHIA - Damian Gasdaska, 38, of Phillipsburg, NJ, was sentenced today to 144 months in prison for an identity fraud scheme that involved stealing personal information, including from old court records.  Gasdaska pleaded guilty in November 2014 to conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and bank fraud.  U.S. District Court Judge Edward G. Smith also ordered restitution in the amount of $257,029, $381,070 in forfeiture, five years of supervised release, and a $400 special assessment.


Gasdaska and his co-conspirators, Randall McMahon, of Easton, PA, John Cordero, of Breinigsville, PA, Brandon Jones, of Reading, PA, and Johnnie Rhines, of Lindenwold, NJ, used the stolen information to create false identities which they then used to apply for credit cards and for purchasing or renting vehicles. Gasdaska provided some of the fraudulent credit cards he acquired to his co-conspirators and kept some for himself. He also showed his co-conspirators how to commit the fraud. Gasdaska took steps to create favorable credit profiles for these false identities, and to improve the individuals’ credit profiles. These steps included: obtaining reports on the individuals, requesting the modification of information in the reports, and engaging in transactions in the names of the false identities to improve their credit profiles. Gasdaska and his associates applied for loans in the name of the false identities for which Gasdaska had improved their credit profiles. The defendants secured fraudulent loans exceeding $200,000 to buy cars under false pretenses. They purchased or attempted to purchase five different vehicles.


Gasdaska used Post Offices boxes in the name of the false identities to receive mail for various purposes, such as in connection with credit card applications. He used computers at public libraries to further the conspiracy. After co-conspirators made their purchases, they often provided the purchased items to Gasdaska who then sold them and paid the co-conspirators for their illegal services. When Gasdaska was arrested in January 2013, he was driving a car he had purchased through his fraud scheme that was filled with fraudulent documentation Gasdaska had generated and received during his scheme.


Gasdaska’s co-conspirators all pleaded guilty.  Rhines was sentenced in March to 30 months in prison; Jones pleaded guilty today. McMahon and Cordero are awaiting a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 9, 2015.


The case was investigated by United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Lehigh County Auto Theft and Insurance Fraud Task Force.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Murray.

Identity Theft
Updated May 15, 2015