Employee Sentenced for Using Personal Information Stolen from Her Employers to Obtain Fraudulent Tax Refunds and Credit Cards
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Tricia N. Bryan, age 30, of Gwynn Oak, Maryland, today to 30 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for wire and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Judge Motz ordered Bryan to pay restitution of $65,356.84, the amount of the actual losses, and forfeit property purchased with the fraudulent credit cards she opened in other peoples’ identities, including a flat screen TV, and a designer Vera Wang sapphire and a diamond engagement ring.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Robert Craig of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service - Mid-Atlantic Field Office; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.
From March to November 2010, and from November 2011 to July 2013, Bryan worked for a defense contractor in Columbia, Maryland who provided data entry services for the National Guard Bureau’s Health Readiness Record. From November 2013 to March 2015, Bryan worked at a global investment management firm in Owings Mills, Maryland. At both places of employment, Bryan was entrusted with the personal identity information of individuals, including military personnel.
According to her plea agreement, beginning in March 2010 to June 2013, Bryan engaged in a bank fraud scheme in which she applied for credit cards using personal identity information she stole from work at the defense contractor, including the identity of soldiers. Bryan applied for at least 26 separate accounts, and made at least $14,332.54 in charges on fraudulently obtained credit cards.
On July 18, 2013, state search warrants were executed at her residence. Items seized included credit card applications and credit cards in the names of others, receipts for items purchased with the fraudulently obtained credit cards, and sticky notes Bryan made bearing personal information of soldiers in the Health Readiness Record.
In a separate fraud scheme, from March 2011 to February 2014, Bryan also used personal identity information she stole from work at both places of employment to electronically file at least 61 false federal tax returns and 11 fraudulent state income tax returns. Of these, 18 federal returns and seven state income tax returns were accepted for filing. Three federal refunds and one state refund were attempted to be deposited into closed accounts and the replacement checks never claimed or cashed by Bryan. Overall, Bryan actually received $41,674 in fraudulent federal refunds and $8,849 in fraudulent state refunds.
The total amount of actual loss arising from the bank and tax refund fraud schemes was $65,356.84.
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 the efforts undertaken in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established 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 fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Felsen, a cross-designated Baltimore City Assistant State’s Attorney, who prosecuted the case.