Miami Resident Sentenced in Identity Theft Scheme
Defendant had personal identification information of over 1,000 individuals, most of whom were Miami-Dade College students
A Miami resident was sentenced to 38 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $42,338.49 in restitution for his participation in an identity theft scheme.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Peter J. Forcelli, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, Bryan Pegues, Chief, City of Aventura Police Department, and Rodolfo Llanes, Chief, City of Miami Police Department, made the announcement.
Thomas Jerry III, 32, of Miami, previously pled guilty to one count of possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1).
In May 2014, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that was being driven by Jerry. During the vehicle search, law enforcement found two cellular telephones. The call log on one of Jerry’s telephones reflected that the telephone had been used to call the Capital One bank customer service line several times. The defendant’s other telephone contained images of the personal identification information (PII) of an identity theft victim and images of the victim’s credit report. A Capital One credit card in the name of the victim was also found. It was determined that the telephones were used to access and take over 79 Capital One accounts, and the caller had requested that the new cards be mailed to two addresses in Miami, Florida.
On July 24, 2014, a search warrant was executed at the Miami addresses. In the defendant’s bedroom, law enforcement found the PII (including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers) of over 1,000 individuals, most of whom were Miami-Dade College students; multiple H&R block debit cards, one of which had been funded by a fraudulent federal income tax return; an American Express card in the name of a student at Miami Dade College; Capital One credit cards in the names of identity theft and account take over victims; and a letter from Capital One containing the personal identification number (PlN) of an identity theft victim.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI, FBI, ATF, the City of Aventura Police Department, and the City of Miami Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daya Nathan and Gera Peoples.