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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reading Man Charged With Identity Theft

Brandon Jones, 33, of Reading, Pennsylvania was charged today by indictment with one count of conspiracy, one count of wire fraud, and one count of bank fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

            The indictment alleges that Jones participated into two related identify theft schemes.  According to the indictment, Jones and his co-conspirators created and used false identities to make fraudulent credit card purchases and to purchase vehicles with fraudulent bank loans.  The leader of the conspiracy, Damian Gasdaska, provided Jones and other co-conspirators with fraudulent credit cards, which Jones and the others used to purchase various items, including small, expensive electronic equipment.  After the purchases, Jones and the co-conspirators provided these items to Gasdaska, who then sold them and paid the co-conspirators for their illegal services.

            Among other things, the indictment also alleges that Jones, Gasdaska, and their co-conspirators used false identities to obtain fraudulent car loans in order to purchase vehicles.  Specifically, the indictment alleges that in August 2012, Jones, with Gasdaska’s help, obtained a fraudulent loan in the name of J.O. from a credit union and then used this loan to purchase a 2007 BMW in this false name.  As part of this fraudulent purchase, Jones used false personal identifying information in J.O.’s name, a false driver’s license with J.O.’s name and Jones’ photograph, and false employment information.

            Several of members of this conspiracy have previously pleaded guilty in connection with the identify theft schemes.  On April 28, 2014, John Cordero pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of bank fraud.  On November 6, 2014, both Damian Gasdaska and Johnnie Rhines pleaded guilty.  Gasdaska pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, six counts of wire fraud, seven counts of bank fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.  Rhines pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of bank fraud.                                                                  

INFORMATION REGARDING THE DEFENDANTS

 

                         NAME

 

           ADDRESS

 

     YEAR OF BIRTH

 

Brandon Jones

 

Reading, PA

 

1981

 

Damian Gasdaska

 

Phillipsburg, NJ

 

1976

 

John Cordero

 

Breiningsville, PA

 

1978

 

Johnnie Rhines

 

Lindenwold, NJ

 

1954

 

If convicted, Jones faces a maximum possible sentence of 55 years imprisonment, a five-year period of supervised release, a $1,500,000 fine, a $300 special assessment, and the imposition of full restitution.

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 and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Murray.

Updated January 22, 2015