WA: Leader of ID Theft Ring Sentenced to 6 Years

Jeania Andrea Dyson, 36, was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Seattle to six years in prison and five years of supervised release for Bank Fraud, Social Security Number Misuse, and Aggravated Identity theft. Dyson was the leader of an identity theft ring that would use stolen identities to open “instant credit” accounts at various retailers. According to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, at sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik noted that Dyson victimized a large number of people, had four previous criminal convictions, and “continues to return to a life of crime.”

Dyson was the leader of an extensive identity theft ring that hit retailers around the Puget Sound region. Dyson provided identities to co-conspirators Gordon Robert Burrage, Stephanie Leaann Locke, Valorie Almeta Dade, and Dade’s daughter, Lakaia Cherie Dade.

Using the false identities, the co-conspirators would open “instant credit accounts” at large retailers. If the account was successfully opened, the conspirators would quickly go to other outlets of the retailer and purchase thousands of dollars of goods from a shopping list provided by Dyson, who would then sell the goods on the black market or provide them as payment to other members of the scheme. Some 42 victims had their identities stolen and used in this way, racking up more than $130,000 in charges. Most victims did not know they had been victimized until the instant credit charges started rolling in weeks later.

Dyson is the last of the ring to be sentenced. Valorie Dade was sentenced to 51 months in prison, Lakaia Dade was sentenced to 36 months in prison, Gordon Burrage was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Stephanie Locke was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The ring got caught in May 2009 when they attempted to use a false identity at the cash register of the person whose identity information they had stolen.

Unfortunately, statements by the U.S. Attorney’s Office do not indicate how the ring stole or obtained the identity information.

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