|December 15, 2004
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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MIAMI – A man charged with credit card identity theft pled guilty to committing identity theft and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $265,000 in restitution and fines today, Attorney General Charlie Crist announced during Florida's first Identity Theft Summit.
From April 1999 to February 2003, Anthony Earl Hollis of Gotha, in Orange County, used the personal identification information of more than 200 individuals to fraudulently obtain credit history reports, apply for credit cards and obtain goods, services and U.S. currency from the credit card accounts. In Orange, Seminole, Hillsborough and Escambia counties Hollis used four non-existent credit card companies to run the credit reports on his prospective victims. He also misrepresented several existing credit card companies, among them First USA Bank, American Express, Bank of America, AT&T Universal, U.S. Bankcorp Services, Sears, MBNA, Fleet and Capital One.
"Identity thieves are victimizing our citizens and they must be stopped," said Crist. "Our aggressive prosecution has cut off this egregious pattern and helped to reinstate the good name of the innocent victims of identity theft."
In some instances Hollis would run credit reports under a fake name using one of the victims' social security numbers. This new "name," many times a derivation, an alias or part of one of his associates' names, would create a "link" between this new name and the good credit of the victim. Hollis is accused of taking his business associates on expensive "shopping trips," providing them with a credit card, and arranging one trip to Las Vegas, totaling over $100,000 in funds illegally obtained through the credit card scheme.
The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution. Hollis was charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and organized fraud. He pled guilty today in Orange County Circuit Court before Judge Bob Wattles.
Hollis received a 10-year prison sentence and 15 years of probation and must pay $260,000 in restitution to the credit card companies, who were his victims, as well as $5,200 in prosecution costs.