Maryland woman pleads guilty to using false identities to steal more than $500,000 in cellphones

A Prince George’s County, Maryland, woman is facing time in federal prison for using stolen identities to get over a half-million dollars in cellphones.

According to a news release from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, Danisha Thomas, 39, from Bladensburg admitted she acquired the personal information of at least 24 identity theft victims.

In the plea document, Harris said that between July of 2019 and March 2020 she gave that information, including Social Security numbers, to a pair of co-defendants, Chantelle Harris and Robert Patterson. Harris and Patterson both worked for a third-party vendor, selling cellphones and cellular plans inside Walmart stores.

Harris, 34, and Patterson, 22, both plead guilty to using the information provided by Thomas to create new accounts, or upgrade phones in existing accounts without the consent of the victims. Charges for the phones were placed on those victims’ accounts.

Thomas would then take the phones and sell them for a profit. In her plea statement, Thomas stated the value of the phones she had illegally obtained were worth approximately $537,000.

Charges against Thomas include federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. She is facing up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud and a mandatory two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft charge.

Thomas will be sentenced on Sept. 28.

Co-defendants Harris and Peterson had previously pleaded guilty for their role in the scheme. Harris was sentenced to time served and Patterson is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23.

Michelle Murillo

Michelle Murillo has been a part of the WTOP family since 2014. She started her career in Central Florida before working in radio in New York City and Philadelphia.

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