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December 6, 2007
Update: Defendant in identity theft ring sentenced
A federal court judge today ignored a plea for leniency and a check for $31,000, in the case of a man charged with helping steal bank card information from supermarket customers in Rhode Island.
U.S. District Court Judge William Smith sentenced Mikael Stepanian, of Studio City, Calif., to six years in prison for his role in the scheme earlier this year that siphoned $132,000 from the accounts of 238 Stop & Shop customers in Rhode Island.
During a sentencing hearing this morning in Providence, Stepanian's lawyer proferred a personal check from the defendant's uncle, who was sitting in the courtroom, to help pay back some of the money stolen after Stepanian and three other Californians downloaded the bank card information from rigged checkout lane PIN pads.
In turning back the check Smith said: "I do not want to be perceived in any way . . . as allowing a defendant to buy leniency."
-- Journal staff writer Paul Grimaldi
Posted by Brandie Jefferson at 2:00 PM | Permalink
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