James Jackson, a 58-year-old resident of Memphis, Tennessee, has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for 13 counts of mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud and mail theft.
According to US Attorney Michael Dunavant, between 2014 and 2015, Jackson obtained the personal information of numerous individuals – most of whom were deceased – and used it to take over their financial accounts.
His MO included searching online obituaries and articles to discover the identities of recently deceased individuals, singling out people who might have credit accounts, or financial investments that could be exploited.
It appears that Jackson succeeded in impersonating his victims, both male and female, contacting banks, credit card companies and financial firms, persuading them to mail new credit cards to vacant homes and hotels found in the Memphis area.
“A search of Jackson’s computers revealed that he had been researching the deceased victims,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) said. This was done through use of numerous online obituary sites and nationwide news articles. In a subsequent search of Jackson’s mother’s house, agents found a box of Jackson’s business cards, wherein he claimed to be the ‘Father of Identity Theft.’”
Additionally, he was also behind the sale of $340,000 of stock out of one of his victim’s investment accounts. On top of 207 months in federal prison without parole, Jackson was ordered to pay over $300,000 in restitution to his victims’ families.
“Aggravated identity theft and schemes to defraud or compromise the personal and financial security of vulnerable and deceased victims will not be tolerated,” Dunavant said.
“This case demonstrates our commitment to protect the personal and financial information of citizens and institutions and to hold offenders accountable for these disturbing crimes of dishonesty. This self-proclaimed ‘Father of Identity Theft’ will now have to change his name to ‘Father Time’ because he will be doing plenty of it in federal prison.”