Atlanta man gets 30 years for massive fraud schemes

He refused to leave his jail cell for the hearing, but that didn’t stop an Atlanta man from being sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for multi-million-dollar fraud schemes Monday.

Jean-Daniel Perkins, 37, was convicted of defrauding American Express, SunTrust Bank and hundreds of credit card holders, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. The charges against him included bank fraud, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.

“This defendant was a habitual fraudster and a world-class manipulator,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in the statement. “He bought, sold, and traded in other people’s personal information to enrich himself, and he tried to manipulate the court system to his own advantage.”

U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes pronounced the sentence on a “tentative” basis because Perkins refused to attend the hearing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also refused to meet with his lawyer to discuss the potential sentence. Perkins has 30 days to file any objections to the sentence before it becomes final.

Prosecutors said Perkins ran several schemes from November 2008 through February 2010, among them:

  • He encoded credit cards with the account data purchased from a source in the Ukraine and used the cards.
  • He obtained internal SunTrust account information and impersonated account holders to transfer money from their accounts to ones he controlled, including transferring more than $3.5 million while pretending to be the president of a construction company; SunTrust recovered that money.
  • He set up fake merchant accounts with American Express to allow him to accept credit cards as payment for nonexistent goods and services, then used stolen account information for hundreds of card holders to run fraudulent transactions.

Law enforcement officials seized hundreds of counterfeit credit cards and the items used to make them, authorities said. Perkins had approximately 100,000 credit card numbers on his digital devices, they said.

Perkins was convicted in June 2012 after a five-day jury trial that he viewed via a live video and audio feed while staying in a cell at the courthouse.

He must pay more than $500,000 in restitution. After his prison time, he must serve five years of supervised release.

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