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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Access Device Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Teria Baker, aka Tiara Baker, 24, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo.  The access device fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse, who is handling the case, stated that from October 2013 to December 2013, the defendant and others traveled to Walmart stores and other retail establishments in Western New York where they used unauthorized credit cards. The cards were obtained without the true account holder’s knowledge or authority. Baker and others purchased $500 store gift cards and other merchandise totaling in excess of $160,000. 

The plea is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the United States Postal Inspection Service under the direction of Boston Division Inspector in Charge Shelly A. Binkowski, and the United States Secret Service, under the direction of Assistant Special Agent in Charge Thomas Braun.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

Updated September 20, 2016