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Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
February 03, 2015

DA VANCE ANNOUNCES 394-COUNT INDICTMENT AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT RING THAT FRAUDULENTLY PURCHASED APPLE GIFT CARDS

Dental Receptionist Accused of Stealing Personal Identifying Information of More Than 250 Patients

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of five individuals – DEVIN BAZILE, 30, SHARNIQKWA DUKES, 24, AHMEEN EVANS, 26, JOSHUA HAUGHTON, 28, and ANNIE VUONG, 27 – for using the stolen personal identifying information of approximately 200 victims to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Barclaycard. Following a two-and-a-half-year-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, the defendants are charged in a 394-count indictment in New York State Supreme Court with Grand Larceny in the Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees; Identity Theft in the First and Second Degrees; and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. BAZILE and VUONG are additionally charged with Unlawful Possession of Personal Identifying Information in the Second Degree.[1]

“Using stolen information to purchase Apple products is one of the most common schemes employed by cybercrime and identity theft rings today,” said District Attorney Vance. “We see in case after case how all it takes is single insider at a company – in this instance, allegedly, a receptionist in a dentists’ office – to set an identity theft ring in motion, which then tries to monetize the stolen information by purchasing Apple goods for resale or personal use. The prosecutors and analysts in my Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau are experienced at detecting and fighting fraud involving insiders and those who seek to profit from the use of stolen personal identifying information.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, the defendants are accused of stealing the personal identifying information of hundreds of victims, and using that information to apply online for “instant credit” at Apple. “Instant credit” refers to a credit product offered by Apple, in partnership with Barclaycard, which could be used immediately upon approval in Apple stores. When an application was successful, a barcode was generated, which could then be used like a credit card to make purchases.

In this case, the instant credit accounts were allegedly used to purchase Apple gift cards, which were subsequently used to buy Apple merchandise, such as laptop computers.

Between May and November of 2012, while VUONG was employed as a receptionist at a dental office in Manhattan, she allegedly copied personal identifying information belonging more than 250 patients, including their names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers, and emailed the stolen information to BAZILE, a former sales associate at Apple. BAZILE is accused of using the stolen information to apply online for Apple “instant credit,” and obtain credit lines ranging from $2,000 to $7,000. 

According to court documents, BAZILE and DUKES shared the fraudulently obtained barcodes via email. BAZILE and HAUGHTON recruited employees at Apple stores in Manhattan, White Plains, and New Jersey; EVANS was a sales associate at the Apple store in Short Hills, New Jersey. BAZILE and HAUGHTON are accused of sending EVANS emails containing the instant credit barcodes, which EVANS allegedly used to purchase gift cards. In total, the ring is charged with purchasing approximately $700,000 worth of gift cards at Apple stores using fraudulently obtained Barclaycard instant credit.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Roper, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Michael Murray are handling the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Brenda Fischer, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Investigator Erin Mulderig, Supervising Investigator Robert Muldoon, Cybercrime Analyst Mirelly Meiss, and former Cybercrime Analyst Allison Mauro provided valuable assistance with the case.
 
District Attorney Vance thanked Barclaycard for its assistance with the investigation.

Defendant Information:

DEVIN BAZILE, D.O.B. 1/29/1985
Bronx, NY

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 121 counts
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 142 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 75 counts
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 53 counts
• Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

ANNIE VUONG, D.O.B. 1/1/1987
Bronx, NY

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 51 counts
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 64 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 45 counts
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 31 counts
• Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

JOSHUA HAUGHTON, D.O.B. 3/21/1987
Bronx, NY

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 53 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 31 counts
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 63 counts
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 21 counts
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

AHMEEN EVANS, D.O.B. 10/19/1988
Stoughton, MA

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 50 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 34 counts
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 58 counts
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 25 counts
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

SHARNIQKWA DUKES, D.O.B. 5/23/1990
Bronx, NY

Charges:
• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 17 counts
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 20 counts
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 4 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 7 counts
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.