Towson Woman Sentenced to More Than Three Years in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud and Identity Theft
The Defendant Used the Stolen Social Security Numbers of at Least 10 Victims, Including Minors, to Commit the Fraud
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen Hollander today sentenced Alice Gardner, age 44, of Towson, Maryland, to 37 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. On May 6, 2019, co-defendant Natasha Wyche, age 42, of Owings Mills, Maryland, was sentenced to three years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, on the same charges. Judge Hollander ordered both defendants to pay restitution in the amount of $170,837.
The sentences were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Chief Terrence B. Sheridan of the Baltimore County Police Department; Chief Lisa Myers of the Howard County Police Department; and Chief Michael Birmingham of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Investigative Division.
According to their plea agreements, from February 2013, through December of 2014, Gardner and Wyche conspired with Chris Jordan, Cynquetta Martin, and others to commit bank and wire fraud. The conspirators would acquire the social security number (SSN) of a victim, often a minor child, then use that number on paperwork to purchase vehicles from car dealerships.
For example, on December 4, 2012, Wyche went to a car dealership in Owings Mills, and applied for a vehicle loan to purchase a 2010 Acura TL using a victim’s SSN. The approved loan was for $29,194. On August 30, 2014, Wyche went to three car dealerships in Maryland, and applied for three vehicle loans to purchase a 2008 Honda Odyssey, a 2014 Hyundai Sonata, and a 2013 Toyota Corolla, using the SSN of a victim. The approved loans were for $20,409, $29,368, and $21,247, respectively.
On November 24, 2014, Gardner went to two car dealerships and applied for two vehicle loans to purchase a 2009 Toyota Camry and a 2009 Lexus RX350, using the stolen SSN of a victim. The loans were approved for 12,631 and $22,704 respectively. In addition, on December 6, 2014, Gardner went to another car dealership, and applied for a loan to purchase a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, using the SSN of a victim. The loan was approved for $32,947.
The vehicles acquired would be sold by a co-defendant to unsuspecting buyers through an online marketplace. The proceeds of the scheme, which total approximately $300,000, were split between Gardener, Wyche, and other co-defendants.
Chris Jordan, and Cynquetta Martin have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. No date has been set for their sentencing.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the SSA Office of Inspector General, the Baltimore County Police Department, the Howard County Police Department, and the MVA Investigative Division for their work in this investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson Mihok, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Davio, who prosecuted the federal case.
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