A Statesboro man, charged with identity theft, was sentenced for his crimes in Valdosta Friday. Senior United States District Judge Hugh Lawson sentenced 39-year-old Jai Devon Lee to serve 101 months for aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.
Lee was convicted of charges in October 2015, following a two-day trial in Valdosta. Evidence in the trial included Lee's possession of personal identification information, such as names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of more than 1,000 people. All of the stolen information was used for fraudulent purposes.
U.S. Secret Service officials received a tip that Lee had been trying to sell the personal identifying information (PII) for $50 each.
Officials arranged a meeting with Lee and a Secret Service agent, posing as a buyer looking to purchase 900 of the documents for $45,000.00.
Lee arrived to the scene with a backpack containing more stolen information, including some personal credit reports. He was then arrested and taken into custody.
“Identity theft is one of the most prevalent crimes in the United States today. The results can be devastating, depriving the victims not only of their money but of their reputation, credit rating and peace of mind. People who prey on their fellow citizens in the manner of Mr. Lee are nothing more than predators. Hopefully this prosecution and sentence will send the message to others who might be similarly inclined that they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law when caught,” said U.S. Attorney G.P. Peterman, III in a report.
Lee has an extensive criminal record, including nine prior felony convictions.
Lowndes County Sheriff's officials and the U.S. Secret Service collaborated with the case.
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