Australian National Sentenced to 2 Years for Identity Theft
MADISON, WIS. -- Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Scott Reaston, 40, a citizen of Australia living in Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft. Reaston pleaded guilty to this charge on May 11, 2018.
Reaston filed false insurance claims with the Parcel Insurance Plan (PIP). PIP provides insurance against loss or damage stemming from the delivery of parcels through the U.S. Postal Service and private carriers. From February 2013 through July 2015, Reaston submitted false claims to PIP requesting payment of over $480,000, and he received payments of $364,183 for these claims.
Reaston created accounts in several names at Stamps.com, used the accounts to purchase postage for packages, and purchased shipping insurance through PIP for such packages. Reaston submitted claims to PIP which falsely represented that cellular phones sold on various Amazon Marketplace stores were lost, damaged, or shorted during delivery. As part of the fraud scheme, Reaston submitted counterfeit documents to substantiate the claims, including counterfeit invoices, counterfeit purchase orders, and fabricated email communications with supposed customers. Reaston used the identity of real persons in the fabricated emails from supposed customers, and he used several aliases as part of the scheme. These aliases include Nathaniel Reaston, Theodore Carter-Bailey, Theodore Carter, Scott George Reaston, Scott Brian Reaston, and Aaron Brian George Austin.
Judge Conley admonished Reaston for befriending individuals, gaining their trust, and using their identities to perpetrate the fraud. Judge Conley found that a two-year prison sentence was appropriate given the gravity of the offense.
The charge against Reaston was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Antonio M. Trillo.