Busts Identity Theft Scheme, Man Tried to Sell Personal Information
of Over 300 People
His Position at a Maryland Mortgage Company to Steal Over
300 Folders of Personal Financial Information
Maryland (FBI) — U.S. District Judge J. Frederic Motz sentenced
Robert Michael Stewart, age 26, of Timonium, Maryland,
to 66 months in prison followed by three years of supervised
release for fraud in connection with identity information (identity
theft) and aggravated identity theft in a scheme to sell stolen
personal and financial information, announced United States
Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, "People
disclose sensitive personal and financial information every time
they apply for mortgage loans and other forms of credit. Law
enforcement agencies will continue to be aggressive in catching
and punishing criminals who seek to use that information. Under
federal law, every identity thief serves at least two years in
federal prison in addition to the sentence for the fraud scheme."
According to the plea agreement, Stewart sought to sell 325
folders of personal and financial information of individuals
who had previously obtained a mortgage. He gained or had access
to this information from his employment at a Pikesville, Maryland
mortgage company. In January 2007, Stewart had approximately
200 folders at his residence, which he intended to be sold to
others, who would use the information to obtain funds from existing
accounts and obtain additional extensions of credit.
On January 4, 2007, Stewart provided a cooperating
witness with three “samples” of the mortgage files to sell to
buyers. The files included social security numbers, bank account
and credit card numbers, copies of driver’s licenses, tax
statements, payroll and statement of earnings, and bank account
statements. The next day, Stewart negotiated the price of each
file, and told the cooperating witness to sell 325 files for
$50 each to a buyer who would use the information to commit identity
On January 10, 2007, the individual helped Stewart
carry additional files from the mortgage company office to
The next day, agents observed Stewart load boxes from his residence
into his vehicle. Stewart and the cooperating witness moved the
boxes from Stewart’s vehicle into the vehicle of the cooperating
witness, who paid Stewart $8,000. FBI agents arrested Stewart
outside his vehicle and took possession of all the stolen files.
The parties agree that the expected losses from the information
in these files would have been at least $500,000 had the files
not been recovered by the FBI and had instead been sold to identity
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised
the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigative work.
thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamera Fine, who prosecuted the
case, and the United States Attorney’s office in Richmond,
Virginia for their assistance in the investigation.