A Thousand Oaks man was sentenced yesterday to 95 months in federal prison for orchestrating an identity theft scheme in which he used personal identifying information taken from dozens of mortgage and credit files to fraudulently obtain credit cards that were used to purchase more than $1 million in goods and services.
Visanio Eugene Vann, 47, was sentenced by United States District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles. In addition to the nearly eight-year prison term, Judge Otero ordered Vann to pay $1,047,321 in restitution to eight banks that suffered losses during the course of Vann’s nearly four-year-long scheme.
Vann pleaded guilty last November to three felony charges – mail fraud, use of unauthorized access devices (in this case, credit cards) and aggravated identity theft. Vann obtained personal identifying information and used the data to fraudulently obtain credit cards and checks from victim banks. Vann also fraudulently obtained driver’s licenses, which allowed him to use the credit cards and checks. When authorities searched Vann’s residence last year, they discovered mortgage files in the names of 145 people and 46 credit files that belonged to other people. In an attempt to conceal his activities, Vann maintained mail drops in Beverly Hills, where he had victim financial institutions send the fraudulently obtained credit cards and checks.
In issuing the 95-month prison sentence, Judge Otero considered Vann’s lengthy criminal history, which includes fraud convictions that go back 25 years, and Vann’s lavish lifestyle that included designer clothing, a Mercedes Benz CLK 430 convertible, high-end nightclubs and restaurants, and his $1,400 purchase of a purebred puppy with a fraudulent credit card.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office