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Press Release

Indian Trail, N.C. Man Is Charged With Committing Fraud Using Stolen Identities Of Military Service Members

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal indictment charging Shabazz Emmanuel McCarthan, 38, of Indian Trail, N.C., with committing fraud using the stolen identities of military service members was unsealed today, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal grand jury in Charlotte returned the criminal indictment in October 2023. The indictment remained sealed until McCarthan’s arrest in Arizona yesterday. McCarthan had his initial appearance today in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in North Carolina joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to allegations in the indictment, beginning no later than January 2019 through October 2019, McCarthan and his co-conspirators engaged in an extensive identity fraud scheme. As alleged in the indictment, McCarthan and others obtained personal identifying information (PII) of military service members and used their PII to manufacture fictitious forms of identification in the victims’ names. Then, McCarthan allegedly used these fictitious forms of identification to fraudulently open bank accounts, lease apartment units, purchase furniture, and rent multiple vehicles, that were subsequently stolen and transported in interstate and foreign commerce. The indictment alleges that, during the scheme, McCarthan and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained and attempted to obtain more than $250,000 in fraudulent goods and damaged the credit of military members, including at least one service member deployed overseas.

McCarthan is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison; wire fraud, which has a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; financial institution fraud, which carries a statutory prison sentence of 30 years; interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle, that has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; and three counts of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each charged offense consecutive to any other prison term imposed.

The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the FBI for their investigation which led to the charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael E. Savage and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Frick of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are prosecuting the case.

Updated December 21, 2023

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft