Repeat Identity Thief Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Mail Theft, Access Device Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft
Defendant Caught with Hundreds of Stolen Checks and Identity Documents for more than 380 Victims
A repeat offender with prior convictions for forgery and identity theft was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to four years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. BOBBIE DENISE CATTON, 50, pleaded guilty in January 2015 to two counts of possession of stolen mail, one count of access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. At sentencing U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said he wanted to protect the public from “a sophisticated ID theft criminal who is also a drug addict.”
According to records filed in the case, between March of 2013 and January of 2014, CATTON and her cohorts stole large volumes of mail throughout King County from homes and apartment complexes. They used stolen checks, credit and debit card information and identifying documents to commit various types of fraud. When arrested by a King County Sheriff’s Deputy following a traffic stop, CATTON had dozens of credit/debit cards and bank statements in others’ names in her possession, along with financial and identifying information for hundreds of others. Investigators identified 382 victims in the scheme.
In asking for a significant prison sentence, prosecutors highlighted the impact identity theft has on victims. “For individual victims, the time and money required to repair the immediate damage is only the beginning. Once stolen, their identities become a commodity capable of being bought, sold, and traded. Apprehension and prosecution of the initial perpetrator may do little to end a victim’s ordeal. They must remain vigilant and continually invest extra time, and money monitoring their financial lives,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.
CATTON was previously prosecuted federally in 2002 for identity fraud and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
The case was investigated by the King County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton.