Plattsburgh Man Admits Role in Fraud
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Thomas J. Howe, age 38, of Plattsburgh, New York, pled guilty yesterday to fraud and identity theft charges.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Vadim D. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Plattsburgh Police Lieutenant Levi Ritter.
As part of his plea, Howe admitted that he and Jared R. Hudson devised a scheme to defraud banks, merchants and individual consumers by purchasing information including credit card numbers, bank account numbers, expiration dates, security codes, answers to security questions, and other personal identification information, and to using that information to electronically purchase goods, and to fraudulently transfer and attempt to transfer funds electronically, between October 2009 and December 2014.
Initially, Howe used stolen credit card numbers belonging to others to order merchandise online and had the merchandise shipped to him. Howe then used other people’s personal identification information to sign up for credit cards. He then opened investment accounts in his name, which were funded with money taken from other people’s bank accounts using stolen account numbers, routing numbers, identification, and bank security information. Howe admitted that his conduct caused at least $508,053.33 in losses.
Howe has been detained on the charges since January 18, 2018. He faces at least 2 years and up to 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000, when he is sentenced on July 25, 2018 by Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn. A sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the United States Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
Hudson, a former Plattsburgh resident who has also resided in Florida and Texas, pled guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced on January 10, 2018 to 79 months in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Plattsburgh Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Collyer.