Phlebotomist sentenced for role in ID theft/fraud scheme

The Associated Press is reporting that Fairon Williams, a phlebotomist from Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced to two years in prison. Williams had pleaded guilty  in federal court on May 1 to engaging in aggravated identity theft while working in an unnamed medical office.  Two years was the maximum mandatory sentence she faced.  The AP report does not indicate whether or not she was also fined $250,000.

According to court documents, during 2010 Williams worked as a phlebotomist for a medical office in Norfolk.   In February 2010, Williams met Christopher Moore at a local nightclub.  At the time, Moore conducted and led a scheme to defraud the Navy Federal Credit Union.  As part of this scheme, Moore, Darnell Barnwell, and others sought and obtained the identity information of others, without their knowledge, and then impersonated the victims when calling Navy Federal to find out whether the victims had accounts there.  If so, then Moore submitted online applications in the victims’ names seeking loans to buy used cars and motorcycles.  In fact, however, no vehicles were being bought and sold because Moore simply wanted to obtain the loan checks and cash out the proceeds for himself and his co-conspirators.  Moore also submitted online applications to open credit card accounts in the victims’ names and to obtain cash advances against such accounts.

In February 2010, Moore solicited Williams and she agreed to assist him with the scheme.  Williams did so by supplying Moore with the identity information for approximately 14 patients from the medical office where she worked.  Also, at Moore’s request, Williams placed several calls to Navy Federal and impersonated an account holder while inquiring about the status of a loan application previously submitted by Moore.  After receiving identity information from Williams, Moore used it to successfully obtain $131,100 in fraudulent loans and cash advances from Navy Federal in the identity theft victims’ names.

Moore and Barnwell were previously charged and convicted in federal court for their roles in the scheme and are serving sentences of 102 and 56 months, respectively. Barnwell pleaded guilty in March 2011.

Some of the information in this entry was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia.


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