Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte today sentenced Ricardo Carter II, age 38, of Camp Springs, Maryland, to 87 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, in connection with a check kiting and credit scheme using the stolen identity information of coworkers and job applicants to open fraudulent bank and credit accounts, causing more than $119,000 in losses to victim financial institutions. Judge Messitte also ordered Carter to forfeit $119,733.94, which are assets derived from or obtained as a result of Carter’s illegal activities, and to pay restitution in the full amount of the victims’ losses, which is $131,588.24.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Matthew R. Stohler of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office.
According to his guilty plea agreement, from January 2015 to December 2017, Carter used stolen names, date of births, and social security numbers to open fraudulent bank accounts at financial institutions in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. He then used the fraudulently opened accounts to execute fraud schemes.
Specifically, once Carter opened a bank account using a stolen identity, he deposited nonsufficient funds checks into the account, then withdrew the value of the check in cash before the check cleared, or transferred the funds into another account, using the money for his personal benefit. When Carter used a stolen identity to open a credit account, he used the credit card associated with the account for personal expenditures, causing a loss to the bank and adversely affecting the victim’s credit score. Carter used the stolen identities to open numerous bank accounts at multiple financial institutions, executing the scheme in multiple jurisdictions, and timing the withdrawal of cash from the deposited checks before those checks could clear.
Carter admitted that in order to execute the check kiting and credit scheme, he used his position as a Security Supervisor at Company A to open accounts using the stolen identities of individuals who worked for or applied to work for Company A. By using his access to the personal identification information of those victims, Carter abused his position of trust with Company A.
Carter admitted that he fraudulently opened more than 100 bank and credit accounts using more than 10 stolen identities, resulting in a loss to the financial institutions of at least $119,733.94.
On September 23, 2019, a federal grand jury in the District of Maryland returned an indictment against Carter, charging him with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. On July 2, 2020, Carter was released pending trial on conditions, including not violating any local, state, or federal laws. In October 2020, while on pre-trial release, Carter applied to rent an apartment in Largo, Maryland, which was not the residence approved by the U.S. Pre-Trial Services Office. In the application to the apartment management company (Victim 6), Carter falsely listed Company A as his employer and used the social security number of another individual, without that person’s knowledge or permission. Carter submitted a fraudulent letter and pay stubs to Victim 6, both purportedly from Company A, falsely verifying Carter’s employment at Company A, in order to obtain Victim 6’s approval of Carter’s rental application. After Carter did not pay his rent, on March 22, 2021, Victim 6 asked Company A to authenticate the letter. Company A confirmed that the document was fraudulent. In total, Carter failed to pay at least $11,854.30 in rent owed to Victim 6.
On April 5, 2021, after a U.S. Magistrate Judge found that Carter had violated his conditions of pre-trial release, Carter was directed to surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service by 3:00 p.m. Carter failed to report as directed and an arrest warrant was issued. Carter was subsequently apprehended in Florida on April 22, 2021.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Secret Service for its work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly O. Hayes, who prosecuted the case.
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