U.S. Attorney, Secret Service, Diplomatic Security Investigate and Prosecute Identity Theft Cases
Thomas E. Moss, United States Attorney
District of Idaho
In the first six months of 2010, the United States Attorney’s Office, United States Secret Service and the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, have teamed up with the Boise Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute identity theft cases involving tens of thousands of dollars, dozens of victims and numerous fraudulent documents, the United States Attorney’s Office announced today.
Leansy Milanes, 25, of Miami, Florida, pled guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Boise to possession of counterfeit or unauthorized access devices. Co-defendant Enrique Mora, 25, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty last week to the same charge. Both sentencings are set for August 31, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill. Each faces a maximum sentence of ten years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Milanes and Mora were indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2010 for one count of possession of counterfeit or unauthorized access devices and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. Milanes and Mora traveled together from Albuquerque to Boise, using counterfeit credit cards containing real credit card numbers of real customers to purchase gift cards at various merchants, such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens and K-Mart. They shipped the gift cards to southern Florida where other accomplices spent the gift cards immediately. Mora and Milanes switched out the counterfeit credit cards on a regular basis because they knew that eventually fraud would be detected and the accounts flagged. More than 45 counterfeit credit cards were recovered. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
Abisai Sanchez, 36, of Caldwell, Idaho, pled guilty on Wednesday in United States District Court in Boise to false statement in a passport application. Sentencing is set for September 3, 2010. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sanchez was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2010 for false statement in a passport application, false claim of United States citizenship, and identification theft. Sanchez used another person’s name, birth date and social security number to apply for a United States passport. Sanchez also possessed the victim’s birth certificate. Sanchez had been using the victim’s identification and living under that person’s name since 2005. He did so because Sanchez was, and is, a citizen of Mexico who is illegally present in the United States. The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service.
Rufus Brown, 32, of Houston, Texas, was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury sitting in Boise on charges of identity theft for possession of false documents. The indictment alleges that Brown possessed ten false Texas driver’s licenses and that his possession affected interstate commerce because he used the licenses to pass counterfeit checks in Idaho, the false licenses contained the means of identification of real people residing outside of Idaho, and Brown traveled in interstate commerce to retrieve the false licenses from Idaho. An arraignment date has not been scheduled yet. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service. An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Alphonso Guster, 46, and Vladimir Bibas, 25, both from the Spokane, Washington area, were indicted in February 2010 by a federal grand jury sitting in Coeur d’Alene for aggravated identity theft, possession with intent to unlawfully use false identification documents, bank fraud, and conspiracy to defraud. The indictment alleges that Guster and Bibas used the names of deceased persons to create Washington State driver’s licenses. They also possessed fictitious checks in various account holder’s names. They used the fictitious checks and driver’s licenses to purchase merchandise at various stores in Idaho and Washington. They then returned some of the merchandise to the stores to obtain a cash refund. An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
A jury trial for Guster and Bibas has been set for July 12, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in Coeur d’Alene. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
According to the Secret Service website, “Identity crimes are some of the fastest growing and most serious economic crimes in the United States for both financial institutions and persons whose identifying information has been used illegally.” The Secret Service is the primary federal agency tasked with investigating identity theft. Other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of State, may investigate cases of identity theft also. The United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes federal identity theft cases.
Public Information Officer
Assistant United States Attorney
Assistant United States Attorney