ID thief sentenced

Manteca, California resident, 33 years old Matthew Gene Ballard, was found guilty of mail fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. Sacramento federal court sentenced the man for five years and one months of jail time; additionally he would be under supervision release for 5 years after prison release. The court has also ordered Ballard to pay restitution to the victims of his deeds.
His crime scheme was simple, he opened a mailbox in Modesto United Parcel Store in Modesto and used it as correspondence address for his fraud activity. Credit cards and identification documents obtained for the identity theft victims would arrive at the mailbox. From January to June 2011 he managed to stole identity of over 50 people.
Ballard got arrested when driving a rented BMW on June 26 2011; he used one of the fraudulent credit card at the rental place. At his residence the investigators secured high quality id card printing equipment, fake id cards issued for many of his victims but with his photo, magnetic stripe encoders and proprietary financial institution scanner.
Yet another case of identity theft, usual in most ways, maybe little more sophisticated methods used. Usually getting a state identification documents with another person’s photo is not easy. It’s unlikely that rather high sentence would deter other con artists from looking for easy money. Best protection you can get is to monitor your credit. Every lending institution inquiry is reported to your credit, hard to miss thing if you monitor your credit.

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