Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Stanley Downey, age 49, formerly of New York, today to 74 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft, arising from a scheme to use of stolen credit and debit card information to manufacture counterfeit credit cards used to buy merchandise and services. Judge Quarles also entered an order requiring Downey to pay restitution of $126,318.99.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Brian Murphy of the United States Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; Chief Gary Gardner of the Howard County Police Department; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Chief Ross C. Buzzuro of the Ocean City Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Andre R. Watson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Newport News Police Chief Richard W. Myers; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his plea agreement, from at least January 1, 2012, through his arrest in August, 2013, Stanley Downey conspired with his brother William Downey, Michael Crew, Navee Diaz, Jason Evans, and others to manufacture counterfeit debit and credit cards bearing stolen and unauthorized credit and debit card account numbers then use the counterfeit cards to purchase goods and services.
Stanley Downey became involved in the scheme through others who knew the leader, Michael Crew, also known as “Black.” Black had an embossing machine and he made credit cards using altered gift cards and the credit card and debit card numbers of real people. The stolen card numbers were embossed on the gift cards, along with the name or alias of the person who would be using the cards.
Stanley Downey admitted that he primarily purchased counterfeit cards from Black, who provided the cards directly or through others, such as Navee Diaz and William Downey. Stanley Downey purchased a large number of cards and conducted a large number of transactions. For example, on January 2 and January 4, 2012, Stanley Downey and a co-conspirator used a counterfeit credit card to purchase approximately $5,738.70 in merchandise at a business in Baltimore County. Stanley and William Downey sometimes traveled together out of state to conduct transactions with the counterfeit credit cards when things got too “hot” in Maryland. Stanley Downey was traveling with his brother to Pittsburgh when the two of them were stopped by law enforcement outside Cumberland, Maryland on September 12, 2012. Stanley Downey provided a false name and a counterfeit driver’s license in that name to law enforcement. At the time of the stop, both William and Stanley Downey had over 60 counterfeit cards in their possession which were embossed with real account numbers belonging to victims and with the names “S Downey” and “W Downey.”
Stanley Downey also traveled with others to various places to use the counterfeit cards. For example, on October 10, 2012, Stanley Downey and a woman were arrested in Las Vegas and had 48 counterfeit credit cards in their possession, which they had been using to make purchases in Las Vegas and elsewhere. On August 13, 2103, Stanley Downey was arrested in New York for using counterfeit credit cards. He was convicted and began serving his sentence, but was subsequently transferred to Maryland to answer to these charges.
During his participation in the conspiracy, Stanley Downey and his co-conspirators obtained or attempted to obtain extensions of credit from financial institutions of between $400,000 and $1 million, using the financial account numbers of real people. More than 250 individuals and institutions were defrauded by the scheme.
Michael Crew, age 55, of Owings Mills, and Jason Evans, age 32, of Millsboro, Delaware previously pleaded guilty to the same charges and were sentenced to nine years in prison and four years in prison, respectively, and were each ordered to pay restitution of $126,318.99. Navee Diaz, a/k/a India, age 40, of Owings Mills, Maryland was sentenced to 76 months in prison, and was also ordered to pay restitution of $126,318.99. William Downey, age 43, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The Maryland Identity Theft Working Group has been working since 2006 to foster cooperation among local, state, federal, and institutional fraud investigators and to promote effective prosecution of identity theft schemes by both state and federal prosecutors. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Working Group, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to work with financial institutions and businesses to address identity fraud, identify those who compromise personal identity information, and protect citizens from identity theft.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since the inception of FFETF in November 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than 12,841 financial fraud cases against nearly 18,737 defendants including nearly 3,500 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Secret Service; Howard County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Ocean City and Newport News Police Departments, HSI Baltimore and Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.