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Press Release

New York Man Sentenced to Prison for Aggravated Identity Theft Violations

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of White Plains, New York, has been sentenced in federal court to 38 months of incarceration, to be followed by three years of supervised release, on his conviction for use of unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

United States District Judge Christy Criswell Wiegand imposed the sentence on Erick Cottrell, 54.

According to information presented to the Court, in August 2022, Cottrell used a counterfeit Pennsylvania Driver’s License in the name of a victim to make withdrawals of approximately $23,000 from the victim’s bank account. In September 2022, Cottrell was arrested by the Baltimore City Police in connection with another attempt to use the same counterfeit driver’s license to steal money from the victim’s bank account. In April 2023, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police detectives tracked Cottrell and others to a hotel on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, where they had fraudulently rented three rooms, including one by Cottrell in the name of the same victim. Further investigation by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the United States Secret Service revealed that Cottrell used the personal identification information of that victim and other victims at various places to rent hotel rooms and make fraudulent purchases in the Pittsburgh area.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Weigand noted the seriousness of the crimes and Cottrell’s extensive criminal history.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the United States Secret Service, Baltimore City Police, and Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Cottrell.

Updated February 26, 2024

Identity Theft