Shannon Palmer, 42, of Dallas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor to the statutory maximum sentence of seven years in federal prison, without parole, for mail theft and aggravated identity theft, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Palmer, who has been in custody since her arrest in June 2009, pleaded guilty to the two felony offenses in January 2010.
According to documents filed in the case, in April 2009, Palmer stole a Neiman Marcus credit card from the mailbox of an individual, “R.O.,” in Plano, Texas. Palmer then used that credit card to conduct more than 13 transactions at Neiman Marcus in Northpark Mall and Willow Bend Mall, representing herself as “R.O.,” and charging more than $10,000 on the stolen credit card. Palmer even made payments on this individual’s credit card, using bank accounts belonging to other victims.
On June 2, 2009, after purchasing two pairs of sunglasses for nearly $1000 at the Northpark Mall Neiman Marcus, store loss prevention employees identified and detained Palmer. When questioned, Palmer said that “R.O.” had given her permission to use the card. In her purse, Palmer had a checkbook belonging to someone else, “H.B.,” along with that person’s address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth and driver’s license number and expiration date handwritten on the checkbook. She also had several credit and debit cards in the names of other individuals, including “H.B.” She was arrested by officers with the Dallas Police Department, but bonded out of jail.
Palmer was arrested again on the morning of June 25, 2009, by officers with the Irving, Texas, police department who were responding to a call from the Extended Stay motel on Green Park Drive in Irving. The caller reported seeing a suspicious person, who was not staying at themotel, sitting in a black Nissan in the motel’s parking lot. The caller reported that the individual in the car, later identified as Shannon Palmer, had approached a motel employee, offering him $900 to cash a $1000 check. When questioned, Palmer gave officers a bogus name and date of birth, but allowed officers to search her purse. They found numerous credit cards for Palmer, as well as for an individual, “E.A.” Palmer then furnished her true identity and she was arrested for failing to identify herself.
Palmer’s car was searched and officers found two laptop computers, a large quantity of mail, and things contained in the mail, addressed to or from numerous individuals other than Palmer. Items appeared to be organized in files by victim name and type of identifying information such as “SSNs” and “CCs.” Officers also found a box of checks that Palmer had stolen from “E.A.’s” mailbox in Dallas. Palmer had between 250 and 300 pieces of mail not addressed to her and admitted to law enforcement that she had stolen mail as recently as the previous day.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, the investigation identified 269 victims of mail theft, with an actual and intended loss suffered by the victims of at least $120,000.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Dallas and Irving Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Walters was in charge of the prosecution.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas