SAVANNAH, GA: A Chicago woman will spend the next five years in federal prison for stealing information from Savannah residents and using it to open credit accounts that funded a fraudulent, criminal lifestyle.
Ayondela Moore, 46, of Chicago, was sentenced to the statutory maximum 60 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank, Mail and Wire Fraud, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. She will be required to pay $68,558.91 in restitution to her victims, and to serve three years of supervised release after completion of her prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
“In the words of one of her many traumatized victims, Ayondela Moore is a ‘habitual thief’ who stole thousands of dollars from innocent people – and undoubtedly would have continued her thefts if not for her arrest and her victims’ persistence in policing their own credit information,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Thanks to our diligent law enforcement partners, Moore will pay a personal price for her crimes by losing her liberty, just as she stole her victims’ peace of mind.”
According to court documents and testimony, Moore was a serial con artist who admitted to fraudulently obtaining debit and credit cards in the names of at least three Savannah residents and a Savannah business, and using those accounts to make purchases that included a roundtrip flight to Jamaica, flights for family members from Atlanta to Chicago, purchases at an amusement park, and multiple purchases of gift cards and merchandise at retail stores. She also used a Savannah resident’s bank account to pay for car insurance on Moore’s Mercedes-Benz SUV.
Moore, who was on probation for a state of Illinois conviction for identity theft at the time of her February 2020 arrest on federal charges. She has a total of three convictions on state felony charges, all for identity theft or aggravated identity theft.
“Technology has forever changed the way we do business, making every-day financial transactions a prime target for fraud,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Glen Kessler. “Consumers are always urged to monitor their bank accounts, credit history and credit cards closely for fraudulent transactions and to use automated banking alerts available at most financial institutions. This defendant has made a criminal career out of destroying other people’s lives, and the Secret Service, in conjunction with its many law enforcement partners, continues to successfully combat these crimes by adapting our investigative methodologies and educating the public.”
“The United States Postal Inspection Service prides itself in collaborating with its law enforcement partners on cases such as this, and this case proves that individuals who defraud victims will be identified and prosecuted, no matter how far away they are,” said Antonio Gomez, Inspector in Charge of the Miami Division of the USPIS.
This investigation began with a report by one of the victims to the Savannah Office of the U.S. Secret Service. Victims of identity theft are encouraged to reach out to the Secret Service so that the perpetrators can be investigated and prosecuted.
This investigation was led by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Porter.