(STL.News) – A resident of the state of Illinois pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to charges of Aggravated Identity Theft and Conspiracy, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Michael W. Decker, age 32, of Vernon Hills, IL, pled guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Robert J. Colville.
According to the information provided to the Court at the time of the guilty plea, Decker submitted fraudulent applications for loans to purchase several expensive vehicles, including two Jeep Cherokee Trackhawks, from dealerships in Western Pennsylvania. Decker was part of a conspiracy based in Chicago. The members of the conspiracy travelled to dealerships in several states and used stolen identity information to obtain loans for high end vehicles. After obtaining the vehicles, members of the conspiracy would alter the Vehicles Identification Numbers and sell the vehicles.
Judge Colville scheduled the sentencing for August 5, 2020. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than seven years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both as to each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.