Fraudsters Plead Guilty In Scheme To Finance The Purchase Of Luxury Vehicles With The Identity Information Of Others
Baltimore, Maryland – Michael Lee Kelly, age 34, of Baltimore, Maryland pleaded guilty today to a bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft, in a scheme to use the identity information of others to finance luxury automobiles for his own use and to rent to others.
Co-conspirators Michael Christopher Marshall, age 35, of Baltimore; Smita Esha Shandelya, age 28, of Pikesville, Maryland; and Jamila Nashira Davis, age 35, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme earlier this week.
The guilty plea 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; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to their plea agreements, Kelly and co-defendant Michael Christopher Marshall selected automobiles to purchase from Maryland dealerships and then used the identity information of other individuals to purchase and finance the purchase of those vehicles. In some cases the individuals were willing participants. In other cases, Kelly and Marshall used stolen identity information, counterfeit identification documents, and an imposter posing as the victim to compete the purchases.
For example, in May of 2010, Marshall asked Kelly to find an individual who was about the same age as “GY,” an individual whose stolen identity information was in Marshall’s possession. Marshall knew that GY had an excellent credit rating. According to the plea agreements, Kelly recruited a family member to pose as the victim GY and obtained a counterfeit identification bearing the personal identity information GY but the picture of his family member. Kelly, Marshall and Kelly’s family member purchased a 2007 Mercedes S-550, a 2009 Audi S5, and a 2008 BMW using the GY identity.
According to their plea agreements, Shandelya had a romantic relationship with Marshall; and Davis had a romantic relationship with Kelly. Both women knew that Marshall and Kelly were not employed but drove luxury vehicles. Both women knew that Marshall and Kelly would not qualify to purchase and finance so many vehicles, and subsequently learned that Marshall and Kelly used the identifying information of others to purchase the cars. At Marshall’s request, in the summer and fall of 2010, Shandelya purchased vehicles for Marshall to rent to others by completing false financing applications that reflected inflated income, and which she supported with counterfeit employment pay stubs. In November 2010, Davis attempted to purchase a car for herself, but was denied financing. Kelly provided Davis with a color photocopy of a license bearing the identity information of “GN” for her to use as a co-signer. Although Davis did not know GN, nor did she recognize the person pictured on the license, she provided the photocopy to the car dealer. After the car dealer told Davis that GN would have to appear in person, Kelly went to the car dealership with the individual pictured in the fake GN identification and completed a new credit application using GN as the co-signer. The real GN had placed a credit alert on his credit report and received an alert regarding the application for credit in his name. He called the dealership, which cancelled the sale. The real GN arrived at the dealership shortly after Kelly and the GN imposter left the area.
As a result of the scheme, Marshall is responsible for between $400,000 and $1 million in fraudulently obtained vehicles; Shandelya is responsible for between $200,000 and $400,000 in fraudulently obtained vehicles; and Kelly is responsible for between $120,000 and $200,000 in fraudulently obtained vehicles.
Kelly, Marshall and Shandelya each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the bank fraud conspiracy. Kelly and Marshall also face a mandatory two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence for aggravated identity theft. Davis faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison for a misdemeanor count of identity theft. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for Kelly on January 9, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.; for Marshall on January 6, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.; for Shandelya on December 16, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.; and for Davis on December 17, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Secret Service and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera L. Fine, who is prosecuting the case.