Two ID thieves who stole more than $350,000 were sentenced in federal court to prison Tuesday, according to officials.
Ryder Colin Guthrie, 32, and Michelle Nicole Hudson, 33, were arrested in August 2016, following an investigation.
Officials said they used stolen identities to claim more than $50,000 in unemployment benefits and had defrauded multiple credit unions of more than $300,000.
“By some estimates, 7% of all U.S. residents age 16 or older, experience at least one incident of identity theft a year,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Identity theft takes an emotional and financial toll, and all of us pay more because of these frauds. As today’s sentencing demonstrates, the thieves who engage in this crime face significant federal sentences.”
Guthrie was sentenced to four years and four months in prison and Hudson received a four-year sentence.
Both are responsible for $363,101 in restitution.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said, “For four years these defendants lived the high life by using other people’s money… (They) attacked (the victims’) character, their reputation and their assets by a non-violent but equally destructive means.”
According to records filed in the case, working out of motels in western Washington, Oregon and northern California, the pair stole identity information of friends and relatives, former employees of a defunct business, and credit union employees.
Using advanced data-mining techniques, the pair built detailed credit profiles of the victims which they used to submit fraudulent unemployment benefit claims and to create and access new and existing accounts under the victims’ names at credit unions.
The pair wrote fraudulent checks to inflate the balances in the credit union accounts and then withdrew cash at ATMs before the checks bounced.
The pair also accessed and drained legitimate accounts belonging to the victims. When the pair fled from a motel in Fife, Washington they left behind a laptop containing credit profiles and other evidence of their many frauds, according to officials.
Guthrie and Hudson each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in November 2016.Warning: file_get_contents(): https:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /hermes/bosweb26a/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151 Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cjnotebook.com%2Ftwo-id-thieves-sent-to-prison-for-stealing-350000%2F): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hermes/bosweb26a/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151