Friday, March 7, 2014

Leader of Identity Theft Ring Sentenced for Stealing More Than 600 Identities and Causing More Than $1 Million in Losses

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information today:

The leader of an identity theft ring that stole more than 600 identities from U.S. government employees and others was sentenced today to serve 12 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting United States Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia, Special Agent in Charge Kathy A. Michalko of the United States Secret Service’s Washington Field Office and Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. of the Fairfax County Police Department made the announcement.

Jenaro Blalock, 31, of Clinton, Md., pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2013, to access device fraud and aggravated identity theft and was sentenced by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.   Blalock was also ordered to pay full restitution to victims.

According to court documents, between June 2011 and July 2013, Blalock and co-leader Christopher Bush recruited women with access to identity information through their employers to steal more than 600 identities, primarily belonging to employees of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development.   

Blalock provided blank driver’s licenses so that Bush could make fraudulent driver’s licenses bearing the victims’ real names, addresses and dates of birth.   Blalock also made fraudulent credit cards bearing victims’ names.   Members of the identity theft ring, including Blalock, used those fraudulent driver’s licenses and victims’ social security numbers to open instant credit lines at retailers and obtain rental cars, which were frequently sold on the black market with altered vehicle identification numbers.   

According to information provided at sentencing, the identity theft ring caused victim losses of between $1 million and $2.5 million.

On Jan. 17, 2014, Bush was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for his role in the scheme.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Fairfax County Police Department, with assistance from the City of Fairfax Police Department, Prince George’s County Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement, Prince George’s County Financial Crimes Section, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, the Delaware State Police, the Maryland State Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of State .
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Peter Roman of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay Kelly of the Eastern District of Virginia.

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