LOS ANGELES – A Georgia man was sentenced Sept. 1 to greater than seven years in federal jail for taking part in a nationwide fraud ring that used stolen social safety numbers, together with these belonging to youngsters, to create artificial identities used to open traces of credit score, create shell firms, and steal practically $2 million from monetary establishments. The case was investigated by Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI).
Corey Cato, 41, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by United States District Choose R. Gary Klausner, who additionally ordered him to pay $1,908,481 in restitution. Cato pleaded responsible on Might 9 to at least one rely of conspiracy to commit monetary establishment fraud and one rely of aggravated identification theft.
No later than 2017, Cato joined conspiracies to defraud banks and illegally possess bank cards. Cato and his co-conspirators created “artificial identities” by combining false private data comparable to pretend names and dates of beginning with the data of actual folks, comparable to their social safety numbers. Cato and others then used the artificial identities and faux ID paperwork to open financial institution and bank card accounts at monetary establishments. Cato and his co-conspirators used the unlawfully obtained bank cards to fund their life.
As a part of the scheme, Cato maintained a business mail receiving company area referred to as “Pak Mail” in Georgia the place he and his co-conspirators acquired correspondence associated to the artificial identities, together with checking account and bank card statements, whereas insulating their private addresses from detection.
Utilizing a stolen social safety quantity and faux California driver’s license, Cato rented an condo in Atlanta beneath the title “Jason Brown,” the place, in February 2019, he possessed bank cards and monetary data within the names of artificial identities like “Adam M. Lopez” and “Carlos Rivera.”
“[Cato] and his co-conspirators constructed their wealth off the backs of the folks whose identities they stole, lots of them youngsters,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “Each the consequences on these victims’ credit score histories and their sense of violation are unattainable to quantify, however they supply additional reminder of the seriousness of [Cato’s] crime and the callousness of his conduct.”
This investigation is one in all a collection of instances that has resulted in prison convictions for 12 defendants, together with Turhan Lemont Armstrong, 52, of Northridge, who was convicted at trial in 2019 of 51 counts of fraud, cash laundering, identification theft and different federal offenses.
Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander B. Schwab of the Main Frauds Part and Allison L. Westfahl Kong, Chief of Trials, Integrity, and Professionalism, prosecuted this case.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS), accountable for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly these prison organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by way of which worldwide commerce, journey, and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 workers consists of greater than 6,800 particular brokers assigned to 225 cities all through the USA, and 86 abroad places in 55 nations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents DHS’s largest investigative legislation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. legislation enforcement.