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STATESVILLE, N.C. – On Monday, October 27, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard L. Voorhees sentenced Nakia Monica Brown, 36, formerly of Charlotte, to 87 months in prison and to two years of supervised release for her role in a scheme involving stolen personal identities and fraudulently-obtained consumer credit reports, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Judge Voorhees also ordered a money judgment forfeiture against Brown in the amount of $396,194.18, and victim restitution in the amount of $447,101.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Thomas L. Noyes, Inspector in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, from 2009 to 2010, Brown and her conspirators obtained a list of more than 1,400 identity theft victims, which contained stolen personally identifiable information (PII), such as the victims’ names, social security numbers, and dates of birth. Court records show that the conspirators used the victim’s PII to obtain free consumer credit reports from credit reporting agencies and then used the credit report information to manufacture fake identification documents and to purchase over $400,000 in merchandise from 11 national retail chains.
According to filed documents and court proceedings, Brown gained access to the victims’ consumer credit reports, including the victims’ credit scores, their existing credit card accounts, their available lines of credit and other biographical information, such as their residential addresses. In this manner, Brown fraudulently acquired a combined total of 370 credit reports from three major credit reporting agencies, according to court documents. Court documents indicate that Brown then used the identity theft victims’ information to manufacture counterfeit New York driver’s licenses that contained the names, dates of birth and addresses of the identity theft victims, along with photographs and physical descriptions of Brown and her conspirators. Using the counterfeit driver’s licenses, Brown and her conspirators fraudulently purchased merchandise at national retail stores based on the identity theft victims’ available credit or based on same-day, instant credit offered by the retail stores to new customers. Court records indicate that the fraudulently-purchased merchandise was then sold to pawnbrokers, “fences” and other end users. According to court records, Brown and her conspirators purchased over $400,000 in merchandise. Brown pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and one count of aggravated identity theft in May 2013.
Following the sentencing hearing, Brown was permitted to remain on bond and will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
Brown’s conspirators, Tiffany Sherise Young, 22, of Charlotte and Trina Monique Young, 41, of Bronx, N.Y. were each sentenced earlier this year to 10 months in prison and to two years of supervised release on wire fraud conspiracy charges.
The investigation was handled by USPIS, with assistance from the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom O’Malley and Benjamin Bain-Creed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.