Statesboro Man Sentenced For Identity Theft Charges
Acting United States Attorney G. F. “Pete” Peterman, III, announces that Jai Devon Lee, age 39, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on February 25, 2016, in Valdosta, Georgia, by Senior United States District Judge Hugh Lawson to serve 101 months for aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.
Mr. Lee was convicted of the charges in October, 2015, following a two-day jury trial in Valdosta. Evidence presented at trial showed that in June, 2014, Mr. Lee possessed documents containing personal identifying information, including names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of more than 1000 individuals, intended to be used for fraudulent purposes. A tip had been received by the U.S. Secret Service office in Albany, Georgia, that Mr. Lee was trying to sell the various items of personal identifying information (PII) for $50 each. A meeting was arranged at a Valdosta restaurant between Mr. Lee and a Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office detective posing as a buyer who was to purchase 900 of the documents for $45,000.00. Mr. Lee arrived with a backpack containing the stolen identifying information he intended to sell, as well as a folder containing more stolen identifying information, including some personal credit reports. Mr. Lee was taken into custody at that time and charged. Mr. Lee has an extensive criminal record, including nine (9) prior felony convictions.
Acting U.S. Attorney G.P. Peterman, III said, “Identity theft is one of the most prevalent crimes in the United States today. The results can be devastating, depriving the victims not only of their money but of their reputation, credit rating and peace of mind. People who prey on their fellow citizens in the manner of Mr. Lee are nothing more than predators. Hopefully this prosecution and sentence will send the message to others who might be similarly inclined that they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law when caught.”
“Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the nation. The U.S. Secret Service remains committed to aggressively investigating those responsible for committing identity theft for the purpose of defrauding the nation’s financial system. Victims that have their personally identifiable information (PII) stolen have their lives invaded in a way that often causes long lasting financial consequences. Along with our law enforcement partners we will continue to pursue those committing these crimes,” said Clint A. Bush, Resident Agent in Charge, Albany, Georgia Resident Office, United States Secret Service.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers prosecuted the case on behalf of the Government.