Man convicted of conspiring to steal and misuse Chase customers’ info gets aggravated identity theft conviction overturned

Tim Hull reports:

A man who admitted to a $300,000 fraud on Chase Bank is not guilty of aggravated identity theft, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday.

Doren Ward conceded that in 2011 he worked with co-consipirators in the United Kingdom to steal the personal information of various Chase Bank customers and impersonate them to obtain replacement bank cards, with which the scammers then stole some $299,000.

Ward tried to plead guilty in Los Angeles to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and access-device fraud while denying two counts of aggravated identity theft, but U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter refused, finding that he could not admit to conspiracy without admitting to identity theft.

Read more about the case and why the court reversed and remanded the conviction on aggravated identity theft on Courthouse News. It seems that because the indictment only named two victims for the aggravated identity theft charge, the prosecutor should not have presented – and the court should not have allowed – testimony about other victims…?

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