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Case Number: 5:22-cr-00052
Judge: Marc Tredwell
Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia (Babb County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Macon
Defendant's Attorney: Keith Fitzgerald
Description: Macon, Georgia criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with committing wire fraud in an identity theft scheme.
Aaron Jamal Denzel Austin, 33, of Macon, was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell on July 26, after he previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Identity theft and fraud is rampant. In this case, the defendant was using stolen personal information to execute a variety of schemes, from registering fake businesses so he could obtain large credit lines to depositing a stolen $49,000 check,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Local and federal investigators have prevented continued fraud and distress for these victims and have helped us hold the defendant accountable for his criminal schemes.”
“This case is another example that clearly shows criminals are continuously looking for ways to commit fraud. In this case, fictious business were created for the sole purpose of committing fraud,” said Resident Agent in Charge (RAC) Clint Bush, United States Secret Service, Albany, Georgia, Resident Office. “The United States Secret Service, along with our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners will continue to investigate, arrest and support the successful prosecution of the criminals who choose to commit this and other types of financial fraud in our community and around the nation.”
According to court documents, Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies found eight debit cards and three driver’s licenses belonging to other people in Austin’s possession during a traffic stop for reckless driving and failing to maintain lane on Jan. 19, 2020. A subsequent investigation revealed that Austin, who worked at an Atlanta club, had used two stolen identities to register two separate fictious businesses with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office to obtain two Capital One business credit cards with credit limits of $30,000 and $20,000. Investigators discovered Austin used three other identities in a similar scheme to obtain business credit cards but was denied by the credit card company.
Investigators found text conversations between Austin and others discussing criminal fraud, including obtaining “socials” or social security numbers, exchanging a victim’s banking user name and password, and how to call banks to learn account balances and other victim information. Authorities also concluded the defendant recruited individuals to allow him to use their bank accounts to conduct fraudulent transactions. For example, Austin deposited a stolen $49,000 check from a New York couple into a coconspirator’s account. In all, authorities identified 23 actual or intended victims; Austin is being held accountable for a loss of $100,000.
The case was investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joy Odom prosecuted the case.
Outcome: 48 months imprisonment, to be served consecutively with any term of imprisonment imposed in Houston County Superior Court Case No. 202008789 and Houston County Superior Court Case No. 2022C57805A; 3 years supervised release; $100 mandatory assessment fee