A Mission Hills man has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison in an identity theft case in which he used credit card and other information stolen from customers of Six Flags Magic Mountain to make unauthorized purchases,
Nicholas E. Dean, 24, a Pierce College student, was sentenced Wednesday by United States District Judge William J. Rea. In addition to the prison sentence, Dean was ordered to pay $13,965 in restitution to Ticketmaster and Southwest Airlines.
Dean pleaded guilty on July 22, 2003 to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and access device fraud. By pleading guilty, Dean admitted that he obtained credit card, ATM card and other personal information from individuals from all over California. In total, Dean obtained credit card information belonging to more than 50 individuals. Dean then used that information to make online purchases from Ticketmaster.com and several airlines. Dean used the stolen credit card information to purchase tickets for a variety of events, including Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers games, which he then sold, often for prices well below face value.
Dean attempted to purchase tickets from Ticketmaster well over 100 times. Investigators with Ticketmaster have calculated that Dean attempted to defraud the company out of nearly $30,000, although the actual loss to Ticketmaster was less because not every purchase attempt was successful.
Dean obtained the personal information used to make the unauthorized purchases from a girlfriend who worked at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. Veronica S. Jones, a 21-year-old San Fernando resident, obtained the private information while processing requests for annual passes to the amusement park. Jones, who was terminated by Magic Mountain, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced by Judge George H. King to 3 years of probation.
The case against Dean and Jones was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.