Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty For His Role in Identity Theft Scam
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Jeriel Slay, 29, of Brooklyn, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 22 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan P. Cantil, who is handling the case, stated that on December 14, 2016, the defendant devised a sophisticated scheme to fraudulently obtain the personal identifying information (PII) of multiple victims from the internet. Slay then opened Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) that were named in such a way as to indicate ownership by the victim.
For example, the defendant fraudulently obtained Victim 1’s PII, including name, address, birthdate, social security number, and other information, and then opened an LLC named “Victim 1 Remodeling LLC.” Slay then, unbeknownst to Victim 1, placed a mail hold on Victim 1’s actual address which prevented Victim 1 from obtaining mail that indicated an LLC was opened in his name. The defendant then posed as Victim 1 to open a bank account in the name of the fraudulent LLC. Slay then contacted Victim 1’s legitimate financial institution and transferred money, via a wire transfer, from Victim 1’s legitimate account to the fraudulent LLC bank account. Slay, using device-making equipment, then created fraudulent driver’s licenses, fraudulent utility bills, and other identification documents in the name of Victim 1. Using these fraudulent documents, Slay then ordered a co-conspirator to go to the bank that serviced the fraudulent LLC bank account to withdraw and deplete the funds from the fraudulent account.
The defendant executed this scheme against more than 10 victims, one of whom resides in the Western District of New York. The total loss was $978,793.87.
Slay was charged along with his sister Angela Slay, Michael Wright and Sirr Wright. Michael Wright was also convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, and is awaiting sentencing. Charges remain pending against Angela Slay and Sirr Wright. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 18, 2019, at 12:30 p.m. before Judge Arcara.
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