WA: Prolific ID thief sentenced to 4+ years in prison

Valorie A. Dade, 59, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 51 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and $34,338 in restitution for Bank Fraud, Social Security Number Misuse and Aggravated Identity Theft. In fashioning a long sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik cited Dade’s “overwhelming criminal history.” The Chief Judge also recommended she participate in the Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Treatment Program.

Dade was involved in an extensive identity theft ring that hit retailers around the Puget Sound region. Using identities provided by scheme leader Jeania Dyson, Dade and others would open “instant credit accounts” at large retailers. If the account was successfully opened, Dade and others would quickly go to other outlets of the retailer and purchase thousands of dollars of goods from a shopping list provided by Dyson. Dyson 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 $125,000 in charges. Most victims did not know they had been victimized until the instant credit charges started rolling in weeks later.

In asking for significant sentences for each of the defendants in this case, Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan noted the damage the ID theft ring did to the victims saying the activity “destroyed the credit of hard working citizens in just a matter of days. “Good credit” is crucial in today’s society and in the current economy. Not only is “good credit” a precondition to obtaining a loan or starting a business, but employers often check potential employees’ credit as part of the hiring and screening process. Furthermore, “good credit” is not a gift. Individuals have to work hard to earn a good credit report, and then often harder to maintain it. I n plain terms, a “good credit” rating or report is an asset to be guarded. Ms. Dade’s crimes robbed the affected individuals of their hard work and good credit.”

Ringleader Dyson is scheduled to be sentenced May 21, 2010.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Aravind Swaminathan.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

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