Peabody Man Charged With Using Stolen Identities Of A Florida Company’s Employees
BOSTON – A Peabody man was charged yesterday with heading an identity fraud conspiracy that used identities stolen from employees of a Florida company to fraudulently obtain $368,000 in credit at large chain retail stores.
William G. Dodge, 45, of Peabody, was charged in a criminal complaint with access device fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
The complaint alleges that Dodge claimed to have given the employee of a Florida company $3,000 for a list of her coworkers’ identity information, such as their names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and salaries. From June 2012 through February 2013, Dodge headed a conspiracy of individuals who obtained false identity cards that looked like Massachusetts drivers’ licenses and bore the co-conspirators’ pictures but the Florida company employees’ personal information. With these false identity cards, Dodge and the co-conspirators posed as the Florida company’s employees at large chain retail stores. In a typical fraudulent transaction, a conspirator would pose as the employee, pretend that he or she had left his store credit card at home, and ask the store personnel to provide the employee’s store credit card number. If the identity victim did not have an account with the store, the conspirator would use the false identity card to apply for a new credit account in the identity victim’s name. Upon obtaining a credit card number, the conspirator would use the account to purchase gift cards and other items such as electronics that they could resell. The store would lose the money, because the co-conspirators did not intend to pay the credit bill.
Dodge was originally arrested in December 2012, right after committing about $1,200 in identity fraud at a Peabody department store. Then in February 2013, Dodge was tailed to a Framingham electronics store, where he committed another $3,100 in identity fraud and then was arrested by police. The complaint alleges that Dodge and a co-conspirator were caught with dozens of false identity cards, that the conspiracy as a whole victimized at least 89 identity victims in 30 states, with losses of at least $368,000. The complaint also alleges that Dodge personally used the identities of at least 46 victims to commit at least $183,000 in identity fraud, and that he took 50 percent of the other conspirators’ cut.
On the charge of access device fraud, the maximum penalty under the statute is 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, forfeiture, restitution and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss. On the charge of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, the maximum penalty under the statute is five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, forfeiture, restitution and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss. On the charge of aggravated identity theft, the mandatory sentence under the statute is two years in prison, which would be served after any other prison sentence, followed by one year of supervised release, forfeiture, restitution, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, made the announcement today. Assistance was also provided by the Peabody Police Department, Framingham Police Department, and the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office thanks the Florida company for cooperating during the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit.
The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.