PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and ROSE GILL HEARN, the
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation,
announced that JAZZREA McRAE was sentenced today to five months
in prison and five months of home confinement for her role in a
scheme to steal credit card information from the City’s Office of
Vital Records. McRAE was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by
United States District Judge RICHARD J. SULLIVAN.
As alleged in the Information to which McRAE pleaded
guilty and other filings in Manhattan federal court:
The New York City Office of Vital Records is part of
the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The
Office of Vital Records, among other things, issues certified
copies of birth certificates for people born in New York City. A
person born in New York City can obtain a copy of his or her
birth certificate by submitting to the Office of Vital Records a
form that includes both biographical data and credit card
information to allow for the processing of a fee.
In early 2009, McRAE introduced a college aide at the
Office of Vital Records’s Manhattan office to an accomplice,
NATHANIEL ROBINSON. At ROBINSON’s suggestion, the college aid
then stole credit card account information from forms that had
been submitted by individuals requesting certified copies of
their birth certificates from the Office of Vital Records, and
provided that stolen information to ROBINSON. On several
occasions, McRAE, posing as an employee of the Office of Vital
Records, called some of the victims of this theft and asked for
the security codes that appeared on the victims’ credit cards.
The stolen credit card information was then used without
authorization in an attempt to purchase thousands of dollars in
goods and services.
ROBINSON previously pleaded guilty to aggravated
identity theft. He was sentenced to 24 months in prison by
United States District Judge VICTOR MARRERO on January 29, 2010.
* * *
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the New
York City Department of Investigation.
U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “Jazzrea McRae
schemed to steal credit card information from New Yorkers seeking
the most basic form of identification, their birth certificates.
We will continue to work with our partners at DOI to protect New
York City residents from identity thieves and fraudsters.”
DOI Commissioner ROSE GILL HEARN said: “This prison
term is a powerful reminder of the serious consequences for a
criminal who targets a City agency and the unwitting citizens
who need its services. Thankfully, the Health Department’s
direct notification to DOI helped investigators swiftly shut down
the scam and led to new credit card security measures at the
Health Department. DOI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern
District of New York will continue to root out public corruption
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public
Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys BRENT WIBLE
and ZACHARY FEINGOLD are in charge of the prosecution.