Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the arrest of eighteen defendants for their alleged involvement in a scheme that involved the use of stolen Social Security Numbers (SSNs) surreptitiously marketed as Credit Profile Numbers (CPNs) to fraudulently apply for dozens of car loans.
This alleged scheme victimized not just dozens of local businesses, but also innocent individuals across the country whose identities were stolen, Hogsett said. The threat posed by identity theft is real and growing, but the U.S. Attorney's Office and our federal partners have redoubled efforts to combat this dangerous trend.
Identity theft wreaks havoc on the lives of innocent victims nationwide, said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones. It bilks billions of dollars from the U.S. economy, and can cause long and painful credit repair work for the victims affected. This investigation highlights the FBI's commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to continue an aggressive fight against the criminal groups that carry out these schemes.
According to a federal indictment unsealed this afternoon, defendants David Day, age 36, of Indianapolis, and Kimberly Taylor, age 47, of California, were charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, as well as making false loan and credit applications in an identity theft scheme. Beginning in or around September 2010, Taylor would allegedly obtain SSNs belonging to victims, many of whom were minors, and would market her services as a legitimate way to enhance poor credit through the sale of "Credit Profile Numbers", "profiles", or "CPNs" to Day. Day would then sell the SSNs, purported to be "CPNs or profiles" to individuals seeking to inflate their credit scores while applying for credit applications to purchase high dollar vehicles and other property.
It is alleged that in addition to selling these SSNs to individuals, sixteen of whom were also charged today, Day would in many cases provide instructions to the individuals as to how they could present themselves to creditors in a way that would fraudulently establish their creditworthiness to include making fraudulent representations to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and by supplying "novelty items," to include fraudulent SSN cards, mortgage documents, and other identifying material. Day allegedly assisted some of his customers by creating fraudulent credit histories for them that would be relied upon by banks during a credit check.
The sixteen co-defendants charged in the indictment include:
Gerald Adams, age 33 Janine Howard, age 46
DeJuan Alexander, age 41 Joe Snow, age 36
Christopher Newton, age 36 Ashley Fox, age 27
Lashonda Collier, age 36 Joshua Day, age 28
Jeremy Gilbert, age 28 Ryan Thompson, age 45
Ernest Jones, age 39 Marshall Lindsay, age 34
Nashamba Floyd, age 31 Keyona Berry, age 33
Sylvester Ragland, age 36
The indictment lists at least eight local financial institutions that were victimized through this scheme. In addition, six local automotive dealerships were allegedly victimized by defendants who utilized the stolen SSNs to purchase or attempt to purchase vehicles.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Ridgeway, who is prosecuting the case for the government, if convicted the defendants face up to twenty years in federal prison on the conspiracy count, thirty years in prison for making false statements in loan and credit applications, and five years in prison for using a false SSN. The government has also filed notice that property found to have been gained through the criminal scheme may be forfeited if the defendants are found guilty.
This case is the result of a collaborative investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Social Security Administration OIG, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Carmel Police Department, the Lawrence Police Department, as well as the United States Marshals Service.
Informations, indictments, and criminal complaints are only a charge and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.