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Man sentenced to 20 years in debit card theft scheme

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A U.S. citizen who formerly resided in the Dominican Republic has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for his role in a scheme to steal debit cards from bank customers, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Gregory Jean-Louis, a 46-year-old U.S. citizen living in the Dominican Republic at the time of his crime, was charged with fraud conspiracies in the Northern District of Texas and in the Southern District of Florida in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  The Florida case was transferred to the Northern District of Texas, and Mr. Jean-Louis pleaded guilty in both cases to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and access to device fraud. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to 240 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay more than $3.3 million in restitution to Bank of America and Citizens Bank. 

During the sentencing hearing, internal investigators from Bank of America and Citizen’s Bank testified about their years-long investigation into the fraud, which revealed that the defendant and his coconspirators had victimized hundreds of customers.

According to plea papers, Mr. Jean-Louis admitted that he and his coconspirators used stolen PII (personal identification information) to obtain debit cards in the names of customers of Bank of America and Citizens Bank.

Posing as actual customers of the financial institutions, Mr. Jean-Louis – also known to his coconspirators as “G.” –  reached out to the banks, requesting that they mail duplicate debit cards and PIN numbers to customers’ actual addresses.

He then directed coconspirator “runners” to steal the debit cards and PIN numbers from the customers’ mailboxes, and to send him photos of the cards and PINs so he could activate them. 

Using the fraudulently obtained cards, the group withdrew thousands of dollars from customers’ accounts from ATMs across the country, including in Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California, and Pennsylvania.  Much of the money was wired to Mr. Jean-Louis.

The United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation; the U.S. Marshals Service assisted in Mr. Jean-Louis’ apprehension. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rob Boudreau prosecuted the case.

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