Two Illinois Men Charged in Federal Court with Conspiracy to use Counterfeit Access Devices and Aggravated Identity Theft
United States Attorney James L. Santelle for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced today that a federal grand jury returned an eleven-count indictment against Raymond V. Scott (age 39) of Joliet, Illinois, and Tarquin C. Saunders (age 42) of Hillside, Illinois, with conspiracy to use counterfeit access devices and use of counterfeit access devices (counterfeit credit cards bearing stolen credit card numbers) in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1029(a)(1) and (c)(1)(a)(i). If convicted of the use of counterfeit access devices each defendant faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years on supervised release. If convicted of the conspiracy each defendant faces an additional 5 years’ imprisonment; a $250,000 fine; and 3 years’ on supervised release.
The primary purpose of the conspiracy was to obtain stolen personal identifying information, including stolen credit card numbers and stolen credit card authorization codes, manufacture counterfeit credit cards bearing the stolen credit card numbers, and then use the counterfeit credit cards to obtain goods from merchants located throughout the state of Wisconsin and elsewhere.
Scott and Saunders are also charged with aggravated identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of two years, to run consecutive to any other sentence that may be imposed in this case. Congress enacted these penalties in 2004, as part of the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, to address the growing problem of identity theft.
According to United States Attorney James L. Santelle, “Identity theft crimes are a top priority for the Department of Justice because of their devastating impact on individual victims, their high financial cost to society, and the strong connection between identity theft and other serious financial crimes such as bank and mortgage fraud.”
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Greenfield, Muskego and New Berlin Police Departments. Assistant United States Attorney Laura S. Kwaterski is prosecuting this case.
An indictment is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute inference of his or her guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.