RINGLEADER OF SCHEME THAT USED STOLEN IDENTITIES TO OBTAIN FRAUDULENT DRIVER’S LICENSES SENTENCED IN MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT TO 85 MONTHS IN PRISON

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

AUGUST 12, 2011 ELLEN DAVIS, CARLY SULLIVAN,

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced today that WILCH DEWALT
was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 85 months in prison
for his role in an identity fraud scheme in which he used stolen
identity information to obtain more than 200 driver’s licenses
and other identification documents for convicted felons, illegal
aliens and others. DEWALT bribed two employees of the New York
State Department of Motor Vehicles (“NYS-DMV”) to facilitate his
scheme. On February 4, 2011, DEWALT pled guilty to charges of
conspiracy to commit identity fraud, aggravated identity theft,
and bribery. His sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge
ALVIN K. HELLERSTEIN.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “Wilch
Dewalt used stolen identities of unsuspecting New Yorkers to
create a second life for criminals and convicted felons, many of
whom sought his services for the express purpose of evading
background checks and other important law enforcement measures.
He had no qualms about whom he did business with, as long as he
could make a profit. With today’s sentence, the leader of this
dangerous and outrageous fraud scheme will now pay for his
crimes.”
According to court documents and proceedings:
DEWALT was the ringleader of a New York-based identity
fraud ring that sold stolen identity information to, among
others, convicted felons, a sex offender, an individual featured
on the television show “America’s Most Wanted,” and an undercover
officer who claimed to be on the U.S. Government no-fly list.
The stolen information was used to obtain more than 200 New York
State driver’s licenses, learner’s permits, and identification
cards (collectively, “DMV Documents”) for these individuals.
DEWALT served as a one-stop shop for fraudulent
identification documents, and charged his customers as much as
$10,000 each for his services. He supplied his customers with a
complete “package” of identification documents, including some
genuine and some fraudulent, that they could then use to obtain a
DMV Document in a stolen identity.
To carry out this scheme, DEWALT paid cash bribes to
two NYS-DMV employees –- GLENDA HINTON and ROBIN JONES-WOODSON —
who assisted him in obtaining the DMV Documents in the stolen
identities. In particular, HINTON used a DMV database to
determine whether any identification documents had previously
been issued in the stolen identities and then provided that
information to DEWALT. JONES-WOODSON met with DEWALT’s customers
and helped them process their DMV applications. JONES-WOODSON
also completed the written learner’s permit examination for some
of DEWALT’s customers.
* * *
In addition to his prison term, Judge HELLERSTEIN
sentenced DEWALT, 53, of New York, New York, to three years of
supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $200,000.
HINTON and JONES-WOODSON each previously pled guilty
for their roles in the scheme. In addition, the following three
participants in the scheme have also pled guilty: JOSE R. TORRESMUNOZ,
who was one of the people from whom DEWALT purchased
stolen personal identification information; DOUGLAS L. ROPER, who
acted as a broker and directed customers seeking fraudulent DMV
identification documents to DEWALT; and SARA DEL ROCIO CHERREZROMERO,
who provided instructions to DEWALT’s Spanish-speaking
customers about how to obtain their fraudulent DMV Documents.
Mr. BHARARA thanked all of the federal, state, and
local law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation,
including Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security
Investigations, the NYPD, the New York State Office of the
Inspector General, the Social Security Administration Office of
the Inspector General, and the U.S. Secret Service. He also
thanked the NYS-DMV for their assistance.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public
Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys RICHARD C. TARLOWE and
BRENT S. WIBLE are in charge of the prosecution.
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