Georgia Man Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Identity Theft And Conspiracy To Commit Bank Fraud
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Anthony Jermaine Robinson (31, Covington, Georgia) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Robinson faces a maximum penalty of 32 in federal prison, to include a 2-year minimum mandatory term of imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft charge, and payment of restitution to the victims he defrauded. Robinson made his initial appearance in federal court on November 3, 2022, pursuant to a writ from a Georgia State Prison, where he is serving a prison sentence for violating parole on a fraud-related crime. He was ordered detained pending trial.
According to the plea agreement, in 2019, a deputy from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) stopped a car driven by Robinson for a cracked windshield. Based on a probable cause search of the car, the deputy located counterfeit Social Security cards and driver licenses with the identities of genuine individuals, genuine credit cards in the names of individuals, and multiple phones. Pursuant to a search warrant, the CCSO conducted a forensic examination of Robinson’s iPhone and determined that it contained text messages between Robinson and his co-defendant, Kiana Fina Alphonse. The text messages outlined instructions on how to fraudulently set up business bank accounts using, among other items, fraudulent business documents for non-existent businesses, identification documents and Social Security numbers (SSNs).
Further investigation by law enforcement determined that, in 2019, Robinson and Alphonse obtained the personally identifiable information (PII) of multiple victims. They then obtained counterfeit driver licenses, purportedly from Washington and Delaware. The counterfeit licenses contained the PII of victims, but Alphonse’s photo. Using the PII, including the SSNs of victims, the counterfeit licenses, and documents created for fictitious businesses, Alphonse set up fraudulent business bank accounts in the names of various victims. These bank accounts were then utilized as part of a scheme to defraud multiple victims involving the online purchase of nonexistent cars. Once the bank accounts received funds from the victims, Robinson, Alphonse, and co-conspirators withdrew the money for their own personal use.
Kiana Fina Alphonse (28, Covington, Georgia) appeared in federal court on September 27, 2022. Her trial is set for March 2023.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service – Jacksonville Field Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.