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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

Monday, February 25, 2013

Atlanta Man Sentenced For Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Schemes

Defendant Refused To Appear In Court During Trial And Sentencing

ATLANTA – An Atlanta man was sentenced today by United States District Judge Julie E. Carnes to 30 years on charges of bank fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  Jean-Daniel Perkins, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia was convicted of defrauding American Express, SunTrust Bank, and hundreds of individual credit card holders.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of today’s sentencing, “This defendant was a habitual fraudster and a world-class manipulator.  He bought, sold, and traded in other people’s personal information to enrich himself, and he tried to manipulate the court system to his own advantage.  Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of his crimes.”

Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The FBI remains committed in conducting such investigations that help build solid criminal prosecutions against aggressive fraudsters such as Mr. Perkins.  Today’s sentencing not only holds Mr. Perkins accountable for his actions but puts an end to his reckless victimization of others through his fraudulent financial schemes.”

Perkins was sentenced to 30 years, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $510,509 in restitution.  Perkins was convicted on June 27, 2011 after a five-day jury trial.

Judge Carnes orally pronounced the sentence on a “tentative” basis because Perkins refused to leave his jail cell to be escorted to the courtroom for the sentencing hearing.  Perkins further refused to meet with his lawyer to discuss the potential sentence.

Perkins, who also was is in custody at the time of his trial, refused to attend court during the trial as well.  Instead, he viewed a live video and audio feed of the proceedings while remaining in a cell at the courthouse.  Because Perkins was not present at the sentencing, Judge Carnes gave him 30 days to file any objections to her oral sentence, after which it will become final.

According to United States Attorney Yates and the evidence and testimony at trial and sentencing:  From November 2008 through February 2010, Perkins executed several different fraud schemes in Atlanta.  An undercover FBI agent, posing as an employee of a company with financial data, made contact with Perkins, offering to make the sensitive financial data available to Perkins.  The undercover agent ultimately met in person with Perkins, who gave the agent a dozen counterfeit credit cards, and the two discussed a wide variety of criminal schemes involving financial data and credit cards.  The FBI agent recorded approximately 30 telephone calls with Perkins in which they discussed the schemes, and how the maximum amounts of money could be withdrawn from victim financial institutions and their customers.

The evidence at trial showed that, in one of his fraud schemes, Perkins purchased information needed to make credit cards, such as account numbers, from a source in Ukraine.  He then encoded credit cards with the data and used the cards.  The dozen credit cards Perkins gave to the FBI agent were in fact encoded with information obtained from the source in Ukraine.

The evidence at trial also showed that from February 2009 through February 2010, Perkins engaged in another fraud scheme in which he gained internal SunTrust account information and impersonated the account holders, resulting in the transfer of money from victim accounts to accounts under his control.  In one instance involving an account held by a local construction company, Perkins impersonated the company’s president, signed up for online banking services from SunTrust, and authorized transfers of over $3,500,000 from the company’s account to approximately 100 accounts under his control. Fortunately, SunTrust was able to recover the transferred money before Perkins spent it.

In yet another fraud scheme, Perkins set up numerous fictitious merchant accounts with American Express.  The evidence at trial showed that Perkins set up the merchant accounts at American Express to allow him to accept American Express credit cards as payment for nonexistent goods and services.  Perkins, using stolen American Express credit card account numbers, then ran American Express credit card transactions through the merchant accounts, resulting in American Express paying millions of dollars to the fictitious merchants.  The American Express credit cards used by Perkins belonged to hundreds of individual credit card holders. 

On the day of Perkins’ arrest, law enforcement officials recovered dozens of counterfeit credit cards from Perkins, as well as digital media connecting Perkins to the fraud schemes.  On the same day, law enforcement seized from Perkins’ apartment hundreds of counterfeit credit cards; items used to make counterfeit credit cards; including a device used for encoding cards with stolen credit card information; machines used to make counterfeit identification cards; items purchased with counterfeit credit cards; and additional digital evidence linking Perkins to several of the fraud schemes. In total, Perkins had approximately 100,000 credit card numbers on his digital devices.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Duluth Police Department.

Former Assistant United States Attorneys Robert McBurney and Nick Oldham, and Assistant United States Attorneys Lawrence Sommerfeld and Kurt Erskine prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.

Updated April 8, 2015