Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III sentenced Boaz Salmon Bratton-Bey, age 38, of Owings Mills, Maryland, to four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for federal bank fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft charges. Judge Russell ordered that the first year of supervised release must be spent in a half-way house or residential reentry program. During the time Bratton-Bey was perpetrating these fraud schemes, he was on supervised release from a previous federal fraud conviction.
The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division.
According to his guilty plea, Bratton-Bey and his co-conspirators committed numerous acts of bank fraud using the stolen personal identifying information (“PII”) of individual victims, without the victims’ knowledge or permission.
Specifically, on June 5, 2019, Bratton-Bey and his co-conspirators executed an “instant credit” scheme in which a co-conspirator, Terrell Meadows, used a fictitious driver’s license bearing the image of Meadows and the personal information of an individual victim to obtain a store credit card at a home improvement store. The credit application contained the name, date of birth, Social Security Number, and other personally identifying information (PII) of a real person who did not consent to the use of his PII. The credit application was approved and a credit card with a $12,000 line of credit was issued in temporary form instantaneously. Transaction records indicate that on June 5 and June 6, 2019, the account was used to make a total of four purchases at four different store locations totaling in $5,988.14. Bratton-Bey and Meadows used a U-Haul truck to load and carry away the fraudulently obtained goods.
After one month of the truck rental, Bratton-Bey failed to provide payment and return the U-Haul truck, which caused the truck to be reported as stolen. During a traffic stop, The Baltimore County Police located the truck, identified the driver as Bratton-Bey, and retrieved fraudulently obtained14 credit cards featuring 14 different names of real individuals.
Following the seizure of those credit cards, investigators obtained bank records from financial institutions which showed that these cards had been used to commit fraudulent transactions, totaling at least $6,822.03 in actual fraud and at least $1,046.85 in attempted fraud. Records obtained from U-Haul revealed that Bratton-Bey paid a total of $4,039.91 for the rental of the U-Haul truck using fraudulent credit cards issued to real persons. The total loss amount from the U-Haul rental and the cards recovered from Bratton-Bey following the traffic stop was $12,652.73.
According to his plea agreement, investigators executed a search warrant at Bratton-Bey’s apartment on July 25, 2019. During the course of the search warrant, Law enforcement located counterfeit identification documents bearing photographs of Bratton-Bey and other individuals, credit/debit cards issued to individuals or entities other than Bratton-Bey, mail and financial correspondence addressed to individuals other than Bratton-Bey, and several cell phones and other electronic devices. Investigators recovered at least 12 credit/debit cards issued to individuals other than Bratton-Bey. Investigators also found Bratton-Bey’s real driver’s license, along with a fictitious driver’s license that included Bratton-Bey’s picture and his alias, “Boa Salmon” and a fictitious social security card for the “Boa Salmon” alias. The items recovered from Bratton-Bey’s apartment also included four other counterfeit identifications in the form of fictitious driver’s licenses bearing the PII of real victims, including counterfeit driver’s licenses for Pennsylvania and New York, in addition to Maryland. The total loss amount from the accounts related to the cards recovered from Bratton-Bey’s apartment was $40,222.30.
Judge Russell previously sentenced conspirator Terrell Meadows, age 32, of Rosedale, Maryland, to six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in the bank fraud conspiracy.
Bratton-Bey was previously convicted in U.S. District Court in Maryland for bank fraud conspiracy, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. For that case, he was sentenced to 102 months in federal prison in July 2012.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the Baltimore County Police Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel A. Loveland, Jr. and Tamera Fine, who prosecuted the case.
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