Former Inmate in The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Sentenced to Over Five Years in Federal Prison for a Credit Card Fraud Scheme

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel today sentenced Abraham Oliver, age 26, a former inmate in the Montgomery County Department of Corrections, to 61 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and for aggravated identity theft while he was incarcerated.  Further, Judge Hazel ordered the defendant to forfeit approximately $12,166.93 held in inmate accounts and pay restitution in the full amount of the victim’s losses, which is $31,252.35.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Greg L. Torbenson of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department.

According to Oliver’s plea agreement, between January and April 2018, while Oliver was an inmate in the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR), he conspired with co-defendant Octavia Ikea Terry to fraudulently obtain and use the credit and debit card numbers of others, without their knowledge or permission.

Specifically, Oliver admitted that he directed Terry to purchase bitcoin, then use the bitcoin to purchase credit and debit card numbers on the darkweb.  Oliver further instructed Terry to identify available credit and debit counts available for sale that were from Maryland then use the debit and credit card numbers to make deposits into Oliver’s inmate escrow account and other inmates’ escrow accounts.  Oliver provided Terry with the inmate numbers during telephone calls he made from DOCR to Terry.  Oliver also told Terry that other inmates would send Terry checks from their resident inmate accounts and instructed Terry to set up a post office box in North Carolina to receive the checks.

Following Oliver’s instructions, Terry used the fraudulently obtained credit and debit card numbers to make unauthorized deposits totaling $31,252.35 into the accounts of at least 12 different inmates, including $5,579.10 into Oliver’s inmate account.  The debit and credit accounts from which the money was drawn included the accounts of four identity theft victims.  Inmates, including Oliver and two other inmates, authorized a total of $9,325 to be sent from their inmate escrow accounts to Terry at various addresses, including the post office box in North Carolina set up at Oliver’s direction.

The fraudulent transactions resulted in chargebacks to victim Company A of $31,252.35.

Octavia Ikea Terry, age 25, of Maxton, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.                    

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron praised the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation and thanked the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation for its assistance.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Baldwin, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to report fraud, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/report-fraud.


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