Federal Jury Convicts Leader Of ID Theft Conspiracy On Several Charges
Defendant Arrested At Luxury Hotel In Dallas
in a Room Full of Stolen and Fake IDs
DALLAS — A federal jury deliberated just under two hours before convicting a Dallas County man on all nine counts of an indictment charging him with various federal felony offenses stemming from an identity (ID) theft conspiracy he ran in the metroplex from October 2009 to July 2013. With this conviction, six of the seven defendants charged in the conspiracy have been convicted; one remains a fugitive. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Anthony Minor, 26, of Cedar Hill, Texas, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, five counts of bank fraud, one count of using or trafficking in an unauthorized access device, and two counts of aggravated identification theft.
Minor’s girlfriend, Tilisha Morrison, 24, of Dallas, pleaded guilty in April 2014 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Defendants Katrina Thomas, 40, of Garland, Texas; Kario Butler, 28, of Mansfield, Texas; Cyrus Pritchett, 24, of Dallas; and Jamilah Karriem, 20, of Dallas and Desoto, Texas; also pleaded guilty earlier this year to the conspiracy offense. Defendant Karen Mendoza, 43, most recently of Dallas, remains a fugitive.
Minor was the leader of the conspiracy. The government presented evidence at trial that he stole identities in a variety of ways, including purchasing them from a group of safe robbers and recruiting a Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) employee, Katrina Thomas, to steal more than 1000 identities from her Fannie Mae workstation. Once the IDs were in hand, Minor and Morrison accessed the victims’ bank accounts and performed hundreds of account take-overs. As part of the conspiracy, they recruited their co-conspirators to walk into banks and withdraw cash.
Minor was eventually caught and arrested at the W Hotel in Dallas, in a room full of stolen and fake IDs, counterfeit checks, a laptop containing a template for the Texas Department of Public Safety Temporary Driver’s License, printer, and a $900 bottle of Dom Perignon that he had just ordered from room service using a stolen credit card. He had rented the room using another’s identification.
The government presented further evidence at trial that Minor and the conspirators stole personal identifying information for true Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase account holders (the victim-customers) and used this information to fraudulently access funds contained in their bank accounts. They also created false identities using the stolen personal identifying information.
Minor is to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay on January 20, 2015; others are scheduled to be sentenced in the next few months. The conspiracy to commit bank fraud count, as well as each of the bank fraud counts, carry a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine. The producing, using or trafficking in a counterfeit access device count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum statutory penalty for the identity theft count is a mandatory term of two years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other term or imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney P. J. Meitl and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher G. Poor are prosecuting.