10/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/18/2021 08:49
Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Antoinette Thomas (32, Tampa) to three years in federal prison for access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. As part of her sentence, the court also ordered Thomas to pay $27,885.58 in restitution.
Thomas had pleaded guilty on June 21, 2021.
According to court documents, between February 1, 2016, and May 8, 2019, Thomas produced and used counterfeit access devices, such as component parts of multiple victims' retail store credit accounts, with the specific intent to defraud the stores, credit card companies, and individuals. In doing so, Thomas knowingly used, transferred, and possessed the means of identifications of other real people without lawful authority. During this period, Thomas was captured several times on store surveillance video making fraudulent retail purchases using someone else's store credit account.
Later, in July and October 2018, Thomas used the identity of another person to lease two apartments in Tampa. At the time, Thomas knew the person was a real person and that she did not have permission or authorization to use that person's personally identifying information to lease the apartments.
In October 2019, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at Thomas's residence and recovered: a) multiple notebooks of handwritten personal identification information, including more than 100 sets of names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers; b) information on multiple credit accounts held in the names of others, including several credit card numbers; and c) multiple fraudulent or fictitious documents including altered copies of Social Security cards, Florida identification cards, and pay stubs. Thomas's fingerprints were on several of the pages of the notebooks containing victims' information.
This case was investigated by the Tampa Police Department and the United States Secret Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Gestring.