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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cleveland Man Charged with Aggravated Identity Theft

An indictment was filed today charging Najee Muhammad, aka Paul Cook, age 50, of Cleveland, with three counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
           
The indictment charges that Muhammad stole and used the identities of three separate individuals in 2013 and 2014.  The indictment further charges that Muhammad knowingly and with the intent to defraud, traffic in and use one or more unauthorized access devices, obtained approximately $31,762 by fraudulently charging merchandise and services on various credit accounts, including Capital One, Dell, Galls Police Equipment, AT&T, CitiBank, Target, Safe Home Security, and Dish Network.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.  In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chelsea Rice and Adam Hollingsworth after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated March 17, 2015