ID thief who bought personal information with Bitcoin sent to prison
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 43-year-old Houston man has been ordered to prison after fraudulently purchasing two expensive vehicles using information purchased on the dark web, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Jay Patrick Morgan pleaded guilty Oct. 21, 2021.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered him to serve a 24-month sentence to be immediately followed by one year of supervised release. Morgan was also ordered to pay $31,409.37 restitution to compensate for damages and the diminished value of the recovered property.
“Today’s sentencing is a reminder that the Secret Service is committed to aggressively investigating and pursuing financial crimes,” said Resident Agent in Charge Brian J. Gibson. “Identity theft investigations remain a top priority for us in our mission to protect this nation’s financial intuitions. The success in this case demonstrates the investigative capabilities of the Secret Service and the collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners.”
On March 8, 2019, Morgan purchased a 2015 Ford F250 Platinum Edition
pickup truck, valued at more than $59,000. The following week, he also purchased a 2019 Rockwood 5th Wheel recreational vehicle (RV), valued at more than $57,000 from a dealer in the Corpus Christi area. In both instances, Morgan financed the total value of each vehicle by falsely providing the Social Security number and other identifying information of another individual with a similar name.
The victim later contacted authorities after discovering numerous credit inquiries and several new credit accounts he had not requested, including those used to purchase the pickup truck and RV. The investigation confirmed the victim had not opened any of the credit accounts and no payments had been made on any of the accounts. Both the pickup truck and the RV were listed as solen vehicles.
In August 2019, local authorities conducted a traffic stop on the stolen pickup. Morgan was driving.
He admitted he acquired the pickup truck using a Social Security number he had purchased with Bitcoin currency from a site on the dark web. Morgan also admitted to fraudulently using the same information to purchase an RV which he had subsequently sold to another individual.
Morgan has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Secret Service conducted the investigation with the assistance of police departments in Corpus Christi and Deer Park. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. prosecuted the case.