Thursday, April 11, 2019

Shenandoah Man Sentenced for Money Laundering and Identity Theft


The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on April 5, 2019, United States District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo sentenced Mario M. Valentine, age 35, of Shenandoah to 64 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release, for money laundering and identity theft.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, from approximately January 2013 through May 2015, Valentine and his co-defendant, Carrie Aker, laundered over $218,000 of credit card fraud proceeds by using forged credit cards to purchase gift cards and other items, and then selling those items or converting them into cash. Valentine and Aker were charged with committing nearly $270,000 worth of credit card fraud, using forged credit cards that they created. Valentine also was convicted of using other individuals’ stolen identities during the course of his fraud. The defendants admitted to continuing their fraudulent activities, even after being confronted by law enforcement officials.

During Valentine’s sentencing, Judge Caputo determined that Valentine had lied under oath at an evidentiary hearing, warranting an enhanced sentencing guidelines calculation for his obstructive conduct. Judge Caputo emphasized the serious nature and extent of the offense, labeling it a “21st century crime.” Judge Caputo ordered Valentine to pay $269,575.35 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.

Valentine’s co-defendant, Carrie Aker, has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo prosecuted the case.

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