A Baltimore man who admitted taking part in schemes to defraud over $1.2 million through identity theft and fraudulent business loan applications has been sentenced to over five years in prison.
While on probation for previous fraud schemes, the defendant committed additional fraud and identify theft, according to a Justice Department statement.
From May 2018 to June 2020, Keon Ball, 45, and a co-conspirator stole at least 10 identities and opened multiple lines of credit in victims’ names. They incurred over a million dollars in charges, the statement said.
In one incident, Ball and his accomplice spent over $105,000 of stolen credit at a home improvement store on Aug. 25, 2018. Later, Ball and his co-conspirator spent $60,000 worth of stolen credit on two vehicles and over $300,000 on heavy construction equipment, according to the DOJ statement.
To ostensibly pay off the debts, Ball sent fraudulent checks to the financial institution where he had opened lines of credit by using stolen identities.
In February 2019, law enforcement executed a search and seizure warrant on Ball’s luxury apartment in Baltimore. There, police found documents and equipment that Ball used in his illegal schemes, including fraudulent licenses, a card reader and hologram overlays.
Although Ball was arrested by the state of Maryland for the credit fraud schemes, but was “released on conditions,” federal prosecutors said.
Ball then moved on to defraud a federal COVID-19 relief program.
During the summer of 2020, Ball obtained over $250,000 through a fraudulent application he submitted to the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
Ball deposited the $250,000 he got from the fabricated application into a bank account that he had opened using a stolen identity. He then, unsuccessfully, attempted to obtain two more relief loans, which would have been worth over $340,000.
In addition to the 5 1/2-year prison sentence, Ball will also have to serve three years of supervised release, and he owes at least $715,000 in restitution.