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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Two Individuals Charged for Possessing Stolen Personal Identification Information at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Two Miami Dade County residents were charged for their participation in a stolen identity fraud conspiracy based on information discovered while they were boarding a flight at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

Godfrey Teekah, Jr., 28, and Phillip Collins, 29, both of Miami Gardens, were each charged by indictment with conspiracy to possess fifteen or more unauthorized access devices (social security numbers issued to other persons), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(b)(2), possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1029(a)(3), and aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1).  The defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, ten years in prison for the possession of unauthorized access devices charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment, for the aggravated identity theft charge.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Teekah and Collins were allegedly in possession of the stolen personal identification information of real persons with the intent to use that information in order to defraud others.  The defendants were allegedly stopped while attempting to board a flight at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in February of 2013.  The defendants were allegedly found in possession of more than 326 names, social security numbers, and dates of birth, belonging to other individuals.  In addition, the defendants allegedly possessed nine debit cards in the names of other individuals.

The defendants had their initial appearances today before United States Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Updated April 28, 2015