Georgia Man Sentenced for Identity Theft Charges

By: WCTV Eyewitness News Email
By: WCTV Eyewitness News Email

News Release: Department of Justice
February 26, 2016

Acting United States Attorney G. F. “Pete” Peterman, III, announces that Jai Devon Lee, age 39, of Statesboro, Georgia, was sentenced on February 25, 2016, in Valdosta, Georgia, by Senior United States District Judge Hugh Lawson to serve 101 months for aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.

Mr. Lee was convicted of the charges in October, 2015, following a two-day jury trial in Valdosta. Evidence presented at trial showed that in June, 2014, Mr. Lee possessed documents containing personal identifying information, including names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of more than 1000 individuals, intended to be used for fraudulent purposes. A tip had been received by the U.S. Secret Service office in Albany, Georgia, that Mr. Lee was trying to sell the various items of personal identifying information (PII) for $50 each. A meeting was arranged at a Valdosta restaurant between Mr. Lee and a Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office detective posing as a buyer who was to purchase 900 of the documents for $45,000.00. Mr. Lee arrived with a backpack containing the stolen identifying information he intended to sell, as well as a folder containing more stolen identifying information, including some personal credit reports. Mr. Lee was taken into custody at that time and charged. Mr. Lee has an extensive criminal record, including nine (9) prior felony convictions.

Acting U.S. Attorney G.P. Peterman, III said, “Identity theft is one of the most prevalent crimes in the United States today. The results can be devastating, depriving the victims not only of their money but of their reputation, credit rating and peace of mind. People who prey on their fellow citizens in the manner of Mr. Lee are nothing more than predators. Hopefully this prosecution and sentence will send the message to others who might be similarly inclined that they will be punished to the fullest extent of the law when caught.”

“Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the nation. The U.S. Secret Service remains committed to aggressively investigating those responsible for committing identity theft for the purpose of defrauding the nation’s financial system. Victims that have their personally identifiable information (PII) stolen have their lives invaded in a way that often causes long lasting financial consequences. Along with our law enforcement partners we will continue to pursue those committing these crimes,” said Clint A. Bush, Resident Agent in Charge, Albany, Georgia Resident Office, United States Secret Service.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers prosecuted the case on behalf of the Government.


By: Winnie Wright
June 26, 2014

Valdosta, GA - On Wednesday night, authorities say undercover agents met Statesboro Resident, Jai Lee, at a restaurant on North Ashley Street. There, he sold them the personal identity information of around 1,100 unknowing victims.

"This is one case where one arrest has potentially identified 1,100 victims. That's very unusual to find that kind of reach on a case", says Lt. Stryde Jones, with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.

Jones says that while Lee was from Statesboro, the victims are mostly from out-of-state.

"These are 1,100 lives that were going to be ruined, at least for a short period of time, and at bare minimum, an inconvenience to try to get their credit history straightened out", he says.

Local residents say this arrest makes them worry that their personal information could be being sold in another state.

"I'm constantly buying stuff online and putting my credit card in places, so yea, it's scary," says Valdosta resident, Tabatha McGee.

"I kind of want to be a little more mindful of where my information goes, and where I put it at," says Valdosta resident, Leslie Ingram.

Jai Lee has been charged with multiple counts of identity theft. Jones says his office is working with the Secret Service to find out where the information was initially compromised.

Lee was brought here, to the Lowndes County Jail last night, and appeared before a Magistrate Court today. No word yet on whether or not he received bond.


News Release: Lowndes County Sheriff's Office
June 26, 2014

VALDOSTA, Ga -- Wednesday afternoon, investigators from the Special Operations Division and the Criminal Investigation Division along with agents from the United States Secret Service arrested Jai Lee following an undercover operation.

Lee had been communicating with agents and agreed to sell the identification information of unknowing victims. As agreed upon, Lee delivered the package which was intercepted by investigators and examined. The package contained the personal identification information of approximately 1,100 different people.

Jai Lee was taken to the Lowndes County Jail and booked on multiple counts of identity theft. He will appear in the Magistrate Court this afternoon where a bond will be considered.

Sheriff Prine stated that Sheriff’s Office investigators and Secret Service agents will be continuing working to contact the victims and identify the source where the information was initially compromised.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950 or anonymous tips can be provided at {229} 671-2985 or online at www.lowndessheriff.com.


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