3 indicted in conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identity theft

CRIME WATCH

June 29, 2007|By Matthew Dolan

A band of three Baltimore residents bought more than $500,000 worth of imported cars and other luxury goods by using personal information culled from stolen mortgage application files, according to a federal court indictment handed up yesterday.

A federal grand jury charged Nekia Ishawn Hunter, 28, Lavon Caldwell, 25, and Faye Marie Jones, 51, with conspiring to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Separately, another co-conspirator mentioned in the indictment -- Christopher Carson, 39 of Baltimore -- was charged individually through a criminal complaint with identity theft. A fifth defendant, 30-year-old Sherrel Peters of Dundalk, was also named in the indictment but charged separately in Baltimore County with identify theft, according to federal prosecutors.

According to the 11-count indictment, the threesome charged in yesterday's indictment purchased credit reports last fall that were stolen from an unnamed Baltimore mortgage company. The documents, prosecutors said, contained the names, Social Security numbers and other personal identification information of people who had applied for mortgages.

Prosecutors accused Hunter of using the information to obtain fraudulent driver's licenses in the names on the credit reports. She placed photos of her partners on the driver's licenses and then provided the licenses to the others to set up credit accounts at banks and retail stores, according to the grand jury indictment.

The scheme involved $504,350 worth of merchandise and vehicles.

All three face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison the bank fraud conspiracy count and a mandatory consecutive sentence of two years in prison on the first count of aggravated identity theft.

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