Wednesday, 12 March 2014 03:36

U.S. v. Jenaro Blalock, et al.: Aggravated Identity Theft

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Jenaro Blalock pleaded guilty in October 2013 to charges of aggravated identity theft and access device fraud in a scheme involving the recruitment of individuals who had access to personally identifying information through their employment. Together with co-defendants, Blalock was responsible for the theft of more than 600 individual identities and financial losses totaling between $1 million and $2.5 million.

According to the indictment, "Defendants JENARO BLALOCK, CHRISTOPHER BUSH, JENNIFER SCRUGGS, ADRIENNE PRITCHETT, SEGALE BATTLE, JAMILLE FERGUSON, RUNGNATEE PEARSON, TEKIA THOMAS, KEVIN MIDDLETON, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, were members of a criminal organization engaged in large-scale identity theft and fraud in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Between January 2012 and July 2013, this criminal organization stole the identities of more than 600 individual victims, and used those victims' identities on fraudulent identification documents and to obtain money and other property from financial institutions and retailers."

In court documents, Jenaro Blalock is referred to as the leader of the conspiracy. He recruited the co-conspirators to obtain and use the personally identifying information (PII) of individuals to which the co-conspirators had access as a result of their employment. The co-leader of the group was Christopher Bush, who also recruited participants to the scheme and possessed and used equipment to manufacture fraudulent identification documents using victims' PII. The stolen information included driver's licenses, Social Security numbers, vehicle insurance cards, vehicle titles and registrations, checks, and earnings statements. Blalock personally obtained at least 19 fraudulent driver's licenses that used his photograph with victims' PII. Bush personally obtained 12 fraudulent driver's licenses that bore his photo and used the PII stolen from victims. He also used victims' PII to get and try to get money and other property from banks.

According to the indictment, Blalock and Bush recruited women who had access to identity data through their employers to steal identities between June 2011 and July 2013. These identities belonged mainly to employees of the U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Blalock gave Bush blank driver's licenses that Bush used to make fraudulent documents. Blalock also made fake credit cards with the victims' PII. The identity documents were used by the crime ring to open instant credit accounts at retail stores and to obtain rental cars. Frequently, the vehicle identification numbers on the rental cars were altered, and the cars were then sold on the black market.

Blalock and Bush and the other co-defendants were charged with bank fraud, access device fraud, and identity theft.

Blalock was sentenced to 12 years in prison; Bush received a sentence of ten years for his part in the scheme.

Resources

U.S. v. Blalock, Opposition to Motion for Bond

U.S. v. Blalock, et al., Indictment

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