Georgia’s turning out to be a hotbed of ID theft these days. Here’s another case in GA this week. U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver’s Office sends out the press notice:
Jamie L. Lawrence, 33, and Antonio R. McNeal, 25, both of Augusta, Georgia were sentenced Tuesday before United States District Court Judge J. Randal Hall to 42 and 36 months imprisonment, respectively, based on their earlier guilty pleas to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Evidence presented at yesterday’s sentencing hearings showed that law enforcement searched Lawrence and McNeal’s apartments in June 2010 and found identity information stolen from about 80 victims. Lawrence and McNeal used those stolen identities to apply for approximately one dozen credit cards in June 2010 before they were apprehended. At the conclusion of Lawrence’s sentencing hearing, Judge Hall remarked that identity theft is an especially “evil” crime because of its lasting effect on its victims.
United States Attorney Ed Tarver said, “While identity theft takes many forms, it always leaves victims with the task of repairing the damage to their lives. Identity theft is on the rise and it results in billions of dollars in losses to businesses and individuals each year. As the number of perpetrators of identity theft grow, so will the resolve of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute these criminals and send them to federal prison.”
In addition to their prison sentences, Lawrence and McNeal were each ordered to pay restitution, $1,000 fines, as well as serve three years of supervised release after they are released from prison. Regarding the length of the prison sentence, Tarver noted that there is no parole in the federal system.
Mr. Tarver commended the joint investigative efforts of the FBI Special Agent Jason Gustin and Investigator Michael Lanham of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in disrupting this criminal enterprise at such an early stage before Lawrence and McNeal were able to use the rest of the stolen identities to fraudulently obtain more credit cards. Assistant United States Attorney David Stewart prosecuted the case.