Jacksonville, Florida – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced Charles Cornelius Smith (35, Jacksonville) to five years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The court also ordered Smith to pay restitution to the victims he had defrauded.
Smith had pleaded guilty on February 2, 2021.
According to court documents, Smith obtained the personal identification information, including the name, date of birth, and Social Security number of a victim. Using this information, Smith provided his co-defendant, Zipporan Carmel Peters, with a counterfeit South Carolina driver license using the name and identity of the victim, but with Peters’ photo on it. Smith then drove Peters to different branches of the Navy Federal Credit Union in Clay and Duval Counties. Using the victim’s identity, Peters made various fraudulent transactions involving the withdrawal of large amounts of cash and the purchase of multiple $500 gift cards, utilizing the victim’s account. Smith and Peters also visited multiple cellphone stores in Clay and Duval Counties and used the victim’s identity to obtain several thousand dollars’ worth of cellphones and accompanying merchandise.
Zipporan Carmel Peters is scheduled for trial on July 6, 2021.
“Technology has forever changed the way we do business, making every day financial transactions a prime target for fraud. This case should serve as a strong deterrent to those considering exploiting the identities of others to enrich themselves through fraud,” said Special Agent in Charge, Glen M. Kessler of the U.S. Secret Service – Jacksonville Field Office.
This case was investigated by United States Secret Service (Jacksonville Field Office), the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, and the Orange Park Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.