Arizona Man Indicted for Identity Theft

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – A federal grand jury returned a 7-count indictment yesterday charging a construction worker with identity theft and related crimes. The indictment alleges that between January 2003 and April 2005, Leonal Guerrero, 44, of Gilbert, Ariz., usurped the identity of another and used it to purchase vehicles, gain employment and open credit accounts. The allegations include three counts of misuse of a Social Security number, two counts of use of an unauthorized credit card and two counts of identity theft.

According to the indictment, Guerrero bought two SUV’s from two different Valley car dealerships in September 2004 and in both cases used the Social Security number (SSN) of another in the purchase. Guerrero is also alleged to have used that same SSN to gain employment at a Tempe construction company and to obtain a credit card.

An indictment is the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until a jury determines that a defendant’s guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

A conviction for misuse of a Social Security number carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, use of an unauthorized credit card carries a maximum of 10 years and identity theft has a maximum sentence of 15 years. All counts also carry a maximum fine of $250,000.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service. The prosecution is being handled by Frank T. Galati, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2008-278(Guerrero)

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