Man Sentenced for Stealing Fed Chairman’s Identity
CSDL, Fri, 01/22/2010 - 04:00
By Cary O’Reilly
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- An Illinois man was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for helping to lead an identity theft ring that counted Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his wife Anna among its victims.
Leonardo Darnell Zanders, 49, of Dolton, Illinois, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Alexandria, Virginia, to 200 months in prison over his role in the ring that caused about $1.5 million in losses from at least 10 financial institutions, the Justice Department said in a statement. He must also pay $1.4 million in restitution.
Zanders pleaded guilty on Sept. 21 to conspiring to commit bank fraud. He helped direct the scheme to use the IDs and stolen bank information to impersonate victims and make “split” transactions, depositing a check drawn on the bank account of another victim, and then siphoning the money out of the falsely inflated account, court records show.
“In trial, a co-defendant, Darrell Earl Price, testified that Zanders gave him checks in the name of Ben and Anna Bernanke, and Price used those checks in the bank-fraud scheme,” the Justice Department said in the statement.
The ring attempted to access accounts belonging to the Fed chairman and his wife, said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria. David Skidmore, a spokesman for Bernanke, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
The case is U.S. v. Zanders, 09-cr-359, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).
--With assistance from David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey. Editors: Steve Farr, Glenn Holdcraft.
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