Man gets serious jail time for identity theft scheme

Martel T. Kirkland was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for conspiracy, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, credit card fraud, wire fraud, uttering a forged security, and aiding and abetting, in connection with an identity theft scheme involving approximately 40 financial accounts, announced United States Attorney Michael L. Levy. Kirkland pleaded guilty to the indictment in March of 2009.

Between November 2004 and January 2006, Kirkland engaged in a with co-defendants Jay Cohen and Robert Fox, both of Philadelphia, who pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. As part of the scheme, the defendants paid various personal expenses with stolen credit card numbers and bank account information obtained by Kirkland.

Fox paid Kirkland a cash fee, usually 50 percent of the amount of the expenses paid. The transactions in the conspiracy amounted to more than $222,000, most of which were reversed.

Victims US Airways and HSBC Bank were defrauded of $30,616.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond ordered Kirkland to pay restitution in the amount of $30,616 and serve five years of supervised release.

This is Kirkland’s 14th criminal conviction and his fourth federal conviction for fraud offenses, which he committed within two years of being released from prison and while on supervised release for his most recent federal fraud conviction in Detroit.

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