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Identity Theft Ringleader Headed to Prison

A Peabody man was sentenced to seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, $375,000 in restitution and forfeiture of criminal proceeds.

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.

A Peabody man was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday for “heading an identity theft ring that used the identities of a Florida company’s employees to cause $375,000 in credit card losses at large retail stores,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

William Dodge, 46, was sentenced to seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, $375,000 in restitution and forfeiture of criminal proceeds. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro. 

Dodge pleaded guilty in May 2012 to credit card fraud, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

“When Dodge was in Florida, he met the benefits administrator for a Florida-based company and obtained from her lists of coworkers' identity information, such as their names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.  

"Dodge traveled to Boston where he and at least five co-conspirators obtained false identity cards bearing Dodge’s or the co-conspirators’ pictures and the Florida company employees’ personal information. The false identity cards looked like Massachusetts drivers’ licenses and allowed the co-conspirators to pose as the employees from the Florida company.

“With the false identity cards, Dodge and the co-conspirators posed as the Florida company’s employees at large chain retail stores. When it came time to pay for the merchandise, Dodge and his co-conspirators lacked a working credit card number.  So they pretended to have left their store credit card at home and asked the store to remind them of the number. The stores, taken in by the false identity cards, often complied. 

“If the identity victim had no credit account at the store, Dodge and his co-conspirators applied for a new credit account in the identity victim’s name.  Again, the stores, taken in by the false identity cards, often complied. Upon obtaining a new or existing credit card number, Dodge and his co-conspirators used the account to purchase gift cards and other merchandise, such as electronics, that they could resell. The stores lost money, because Dodge and the co-conspirators did not pay the credit bills.     

“As the group’s ringleader, Dodge directed his co-conspirators’ actions and took about 50% of their profits. The conspiracy netted over $375,000 in merchandise and services, with Dodge personally responsible by posing as an identity theft victim for over $212,000 of the losses.”

J February 26, 2014 at 04:36 PM
The stores don't lose out on money when someone doesn't pay their credit card bills. The credit card company is the one that loses out. The store charge cards are through a large bank, often something like GE Capital or similar. With the interest rates they charge I don't feel bad for them.
Andrew Denaro February 26, 2014 at 04:53 PM
7 years? That's pathetic. How about a firing squad or a tall tree with a short rope. People's lives are ruined by ID thieves.
Kathleen February 26, 2014 at 05:18 PM
J, you are completely wrong. I worked in the industry and the store is the one that loses out here. If the store runs the sale without the card present, the credit card company (aka the issuing bank) will charge it back on behalf of their cardholder and they will win. The merchant will lose since they violated the terms of their merchant agreement with their acquiring bank. The issuing banks don't just write these losses off anymore. They will always dispute it and the merchant will be charged with the loss. The store should have a strict policy of not allowing their employees to run a sale through without the credit card present. Identity theft is serious business and this guy should be put away for a lot longer. Ruins peoples lives. He and his cohorts are complete scumbags, the lowest of the low.

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