Member of the Simple City Criminal Organization Pleads Guilty to a Racketeering Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft
Used the Identities of More Than 230 Victims to Engage in Fraudulent Financial Transactions
Greenbelt, Maryland – Sylvia Price, a/k/a “Deez Nuts,” age 50, of Suitland, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiring to participate in a racketeering conspiracy and to aggravated identity theft, in connection with her activities in the Simple City Criminal Organization (SCCO), a racketeering enterprise engaged in fraud and related activity, including vehicle theft and interstate transportation of stolen property. Specifically, Sylvia Price admitted that she engaged in fraudulent financial transactions, using the identities of over 230 victims, with losses to the victims of SCCO’s activities of at least $453,900.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to her plea agreement, from at least 2009 to July 2015, Price and her conspirators met on a regular basis and planned criminal activity, including vehicle theft, the interstate transportation of stolen property, identity theft and credit/debit card fraud. The SCCO received money and income from those criminal activities.
For example, Sylvia Price received stolen pocketbooks containing checks, credit and debit cards, and other forms of identification, such as driver’s licenses, from other members of SCCO. Price and other conspirators used the stolen items to conduct fraudulent financial transactions. The money obtained from those transactions was given to Price, who then provided a portion to another SCCO member, to divide with the co-conspirators who stole the pocketbooks. Law enforcement intercepted communications between Price and another SCCO member in which they discuss providing handbags stolen from automobiles to Price.
On July 16, 2015, law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at Price’s home in Suitland and recovered checkbooks and means of identifications of individuals who had reported their vehicles stolen, or had reported a theft of those items from their vehicle. In addition, law enforcement recovered 95 women’s designer handbags worth approximately $53,000, as well as gift cards totaling approximately $1,180.
As part of her plea agreement, Sylvia Price will be required to forfeit and pay restitution of at least $453,900, the full amount of the victims’ losses.
Sylvia Price faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the racketeering conspiracy, and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, for aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for November 21, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.
Co-defendants Stefon Janey, a/k/a “Stef,” and “Stef Luva,” age 23, of Marlow Heights, Maryland, Jessica Rubio, age 38, of Washington, D.C. previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the racketeering conspiracy. Rubio also pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft. Judge Hazel sentenced Janey to 27 months in prison, and Rubio to 40 months in prison.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Prince George’s County Police Department, Montgomery County Police Department and the members of the Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement Unit for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas M. Sullivan and Nicolas A. Mitchell, who are prosecuting the case.