PROVIDENCE, RI – A third person charged in federal court in Rhode Island in a series of on-going investigations into individuals who are stealing personal identifying information of others and using that information to apply for bank loans and retail store credit cards or lines of credit, has been sentenced to 39 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Stephen Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Scott E. Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General/Office of Investigations, and Delaney Deleon-Colon, Acting Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service.
Jason McDonald, 37, of Great Neck, N.Y., admitted to using a stolen identity and stolen Social Security number, and a Rhode Island address he had no association with, to open a membership account at a local credit union and then attempt to fraudulently obtain a loan from the credit union. He also admitted to helping another person create a false credit profile using stolen personal identifying information in order for that person to fraudulently obtain a vehicle valued at $29,825.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr, also ordered McDonald to serve 4 years supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration, and to pay restitution totaling $29,825.
McDonald pleaded guilty on March 29, 2018, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, attempted bank fraud, fraudulent use of a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft.
The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines range of imprisonment in this matter is 39 – 45 months. The government recommended the court impose a sentence of 45 months in prison.
At the time of his guilty plea, McDonald admitted to the Court that in December 2016, he began obtaining the personal identification of individuals without their knowledge, including Social Security numbers, for the purpose of committing fraud. McDonald admitted that with the assistance of others he obtained counterfeit identification cards bearing his photo and displaying the stolen personal identifiable information of others.
McDonald admitted that on April 10, 2017, he used a fraudulently obtained identity and a New Jersey driver’s license to gain membership with the Digital Federal Credit Union. Five days later, he filed an online loan application for an automobile loan in the amount of $23,500.
McDonald first came to the attention of law enforcement during an unrelated investigation of a Central Falls man, Reynaldo Martinez, 25, for his participation in a scheme to use the stolen identity of numerous individuals to open retail store credit cards and lines of credits. Martinez used the credit to purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods. Martinez pleaded guilty in November 2017 to four counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of access fraud, and one count each of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, attempted access fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen goods. He was sentenced in January to 48 months in federal prison.
The investigations also led to the arrest and conviction in federal court of Donald Wicklund, 33, of Pawtucket. Wicklund pleaded guilty on April 12, 2018, to a 15-count indictment charging him with bank and wire fraud, fraudulent use of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy. He admitted to using stolen personal identifying information of others, including social security numbers fraudulent documents and addresses, to secure funding for the purchase or lease of new vehicles in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The investigation determined that Jason McDonald provided Wicklund with a stolen social Security number and an accompanying bogus credit profile to obtain a new vehicle valued at $29,825.
Wicklund is scheduled to be sentenced on September 13, 2018.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Ferland.
The on-going investigations are being conducted by agents from the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Social Security Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.