Carr Announces Indictments in Identity Fraud Cases

July 25, 2018

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced indictments in two identity fraud cases.

“Our office is committed to stopping criminals who perpetrate identity theft and financial fraud and will continue to hold them accountable for their actions,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “I applaud our Consumer Protection Unit and Special Prosecutions Unit for their joint efforts in investigating and prosecuting these cases.”

Darnell Antwan Samples

Darnell Antwan Samples, a former Verizon Wireless employee, has been indicted for his role in an identity fraud scheme that compromised the data of 58 Verizon Wireless customers. A Fulton County Grand Jury has charged Samples with 24 counts of Identity Fraud.

This case was referred to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit by Verizon Wireless after customer complaints of unauthorized charges led to the discovery that the personal identifying information of dozens of customers had been compromised. Samples worked at a Verizon store in East Point, Fulton County from August 2014 to June 2015.  A joint investigation by the Consumer Protection Unit and the United States Secret Service revealed that from April to June of 2015, Mr. Samples accessed and sold customer account information, specifically the names, phone numbers and last four digits of the Social Security numbers associated with the accounts.  The information was then used to make fraudulent purchases of services and products at Verizon stores in multiple states that were billed to the compromised accounts. The total losses as a result exceed $103,058. 

Assistant Attorney General Taylor Johnston from the Office of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit presented the Samples case to the Fulton County Grand Jury on June 26, 2018. The case was investigated by Wilson Cabrera, a Criminal Investigator with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit, and Shane Ricketts, a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service.

Tiara Dameron and Tieresa Mitchell

Tiara Dameron and her mother, Tieresa Mitchell, both of Covington, Georgia, have been indicted for their roles in a fraud scheme involving hundreds of fraudulent Discover bank accounts. A Newton County Grand Jury has indicted Dameron and Mitchell with one count of Racketeering (R.I.C.O.), with Theft and Identity Fraud as the predicate acts under the R.I.C.O. statute.

The investigation by criminal investigators from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit revealed that between November 2014 and June 2015 the suspects applied online for hundreds of fraudulent Discover bank accounts using variations of their names and other names.  The Social Security numbers used in support of the Discover accounts did not belong to the suspects.  At least 65 of the Discover accounts were linked with accounts from other banks (Bancorp Bank, MetaBank and Wells Fargo, among others) belonging to Dameron and Mitchell. This allowed the suspects to deposit counterfeit checks into the Discover accounts and transfer the money to the linked bank accounts before the checks were returned for non-sufficient funds.

Assistant Attorney General Taylor Johnston from the Office of the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit presented the case to the Newton County Grand Jury on July 6, 2018. The case was investigated by Calvin Thomas, a Criminal Investigator with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit, and will be prosecuted by Sandra J. Bailey, Assistant Attorney General with the Special Prosecutions Unit.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.