Thursday, April 23, 2009

Augusta Woman Pleads Guilty to Credit Card Fraud Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft‏

Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that Vickie Parks Sheppard, age 50, of Augusta, Georgia, entered a plea of guilty yesterday in United States District Court in Augusta, Georgia to one count of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371, 1028(f), 1029(b)(2), and 1028A(a)(1).

Booth stated that evidence at the guilty plea hearing showed that Sheppard conspired with her co-defendant, Glenn Love II, age 36, of Augusta, Georgia, who previously pleaded guilty to these charges on March 31, 2009, to fraudulently obtain identity and financial information from more than 50 victims, mainly elderly females, by posing as fraud investigators for a credit card company during telephone calls. The evidence also showed that Sheppard committed aggravated identity theft when she used one of the victims’ identity information while making over $1,000 in unauthorized purchases with that victim’s credit card number. The evidence also showed that Sheppard conspired with Love to possess an identification card printer and a document scanner which were connected to a laptop computer which contained images of Social Security cards, a U.S. Department of Defense identification card, and drivers licenses from Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Booth noted that Sheppard and Love face a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy charge. Sheppard and Love also face a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment for aggravated identity theft which must be served after any prison sentence for their conspiracy convictions. After completion of a presentence investigation and report, a sentencing date will be set.

Booth praised the joint efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Richmond County Sheriff’s Office which led to the indictment. The government is represented in this case by Assistant United States Attorney David M. Stewart.

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