Photo: File photo
Photo: File photo

DOJ: ‘Crafty’ Gwinnett man stole $1.3M from banks using identity fraud

A Lawrenceville man used stolen identities to defraud Atlanta banks out of more than $1.3 million, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Justin Tony Walker, 29, has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft on May 29. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg sentenced Walker to seven years in federal prison on Aug. 24.

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Walker impersonated bank account holders in order to steal money from banks, the Justice Department said. Using account holders’ personal information, he would trick customer service agents into letting him access victims’ accounts. When he had access, Walker would then wire money to personal accounts held by co-conspirators, the Justice Department said.

Because checking and savings accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the account holders’ money was protected. The banks had to cover the fraudulent transfers, costing them more than $1.3 million. 

Walker was on probation while he was conducting the scheme between July 2015 and March 2016, the Justice Department said. He has been arrested four times for “various forms of fraud and identity theft,” the DOJ said in a release.

In addition to the seven-year prison sentence, Walker must serve two years of supervised release and pay about $515,000 in restitution. 

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