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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reno Man Pleads Guilty To Creating Over 8,000 Fraudulent Online Accounts With Stolen Identities To Commit $3.5 Million Fraud Scheme

RENO, Nev. – A Reno man pleaded guilty in federal court today to using stolen identities to create more than 8,000 fraudulent online accounts to commit a $3.5 million fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson for the District of Nevada.

Kenneth Gilbert Gibson, 47, pleaded guilty today to one count of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, one count of filing a false tax return, and one count of aggravated identity theft. United District Court Judge Miranda Du accepted the guilty pleas. Sentencing is scheduled for July 30, 2018.

According to admissions made in connection to his plea agreement, between 2012 and 2017, Gibson developed and operated a scheme to fraudulently obtain the identities of multiple victims and used their identities to open unauthorized online accounts, credit accounts, bank accounts, and prepaid cards. He obtained the identities of multiple victims from a database in Reno. Then, he used those stolen identities to create approximately 8,000 unauthorized and fraudulent online accounts. He would use those fraudulent and unauthorized accounts to transfer, deposit, and send approximately $3.5 million to himself via hard copy checks and through electronic transactions to approximately 500 bank accounts and pre-paid debit cards owned and under his control.

In addition, he admitted to filing a false federal income tax return for the 2013 tax year. He did not include approximately $1,049,070 of taxable income he received from the fraud scheme.

At the time of sentencing, the maximum statutory penalty is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud and mail fraud counts; the maximum statutory penalty is three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the filing a false tax return count; and the statutory maximum penalty of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft count. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release and a criminal forfeiture money judgment.

The case is being jointly investigated by a Task Force consisting of the FBI, United States Secret Service, the IRS, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Reno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla B. Higginbotham is prosecuting the case.

You can report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www.identitytheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. For identity theft prevention tips and free resources visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Tax
Component(s): 
Updated April 26, 2018