Identity Theft Ringleader Headed to Prison

A Peabody man was
sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday for “heading an identity theft
ring that used the identities of a Florida company’s employees to cause
$375,000 in credit card losses at large retail stores,”
according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

William
Dodge, 46, was sentenced to seven years in prison, three years of supervised
release, $375,000 in restitution and forfeiture of criminal proceeds. He was
sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro. 

Dodge pleaded guilty in
May 2012 to credit card fraud, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and
aggravated identity theft.

According
to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

“When Dodge
was in Florida, he met the benefits administrator for a Florida-based company
and obtained from her lists of coworkers’ identity information, such as their
names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.  

“Dodge traveled to
Boston where he and at least five co-conspirators obtained false identity cards
bearing Dodge’s or the co-conspirators’ pictures and the Florida company
employees’ personal information. The false identity cards looked like
Massachusetts drivers’ licenses and allowed the co-conspirators to pose as the
employees from the Florida company.

“With the false identity
cards, Dodge and the co-conspirators posed as the Florida company’s employees
at large chain retail stores. When it came time to pay for the
merchandise, Dodge and his co-conspirators lacked a working credit card
number.  So they pretended to have left their store credit card at home
and asked the store to remind them of the number. The stores, taken in by
the false identity cards, often complied. 

“If the
identity victim had no credit account at the store, Dodge and his
co-conspirators applied for a new credit account in the identity victim’s
name.  Again, the stores, taken in by the false identity cards, often
complied. Upon obtaining a new or existing credit card number, Dodge and his
co-conspirators used the account to purchase gift cards and other merchandise,
such as electronics, that they could resell. The stores lost money,
because Dodge and the co-conspirators did not pay the credit
bills.     

“As the group’s ringleader, Dodge
directed his co-conspirators’ actions and took about 50% of their
profits. The conspiracy netted over $375,000 in merchandise and services,
with Dodge personally responsible by posing as an identity theft victim for
over $212,000 of the losses.”

Article source: http://peabody.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/identity-theft-ringleader-headed-to-prison

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