Alabama Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of Prisoners’ Identities

Harvey James of Montgomery, Ala., recently pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft for his involvement in a scheme in which stolen identities were used to file hundreds of fraudulent tax returns claiming over $1 million in refunds between 2010 and 2012.

According to court documents, James obtained the stolen identities from people who had access to inmate information from the Alabama Department of Corrections. James, his sister Jacqueline Slaton, and others used those identities to file fraudulent federal and state tax returns, then directed some of the refunds to be sent either via check or to prepaid debit cards.

In 2012, James and Slaton enlisted U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Vernon Harrison to retrieve more than 100 debit cards from the mail in return for substantial payments.

Harrison was found guilty on July 3, 2013, and was sentenced today to serve 111 months in prison and three years’ supervised release, along with an order to pay $82,791 in restitution.

James faces a minimum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum sentence of 22 years in prison. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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