Second man convicted in multi-state ID scam

February 11, 2010
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A Texas man has been convicted in federal court last week of helping a convicted East Boston man steal credit cards from health club locker rooms and take more than $400,000 in cash advances at horse race tracks in at least 10 states.

Dennis Savarese, of Texas, was convicted of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and identity fraud.

Savarese conspired with at least four others, including Arthur Rizzo, 53, of East Boston, to steal credit cards from health club locker rooms all over the country and then use those cards to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

In January 2009, Rizzo pled guilty to conspiring, with at least four others, to commit identity fraud, access device fraud and wire fraud.

Rizzo admitted to providing his co-conspirators with fake state identification cards bearing the names from stolen credit cards with photographs of the defendants. According to the indictment, the other defendants then traveled to horse tracks around the country where they took large cash advances on the stolen credit cards using the fake ID’s as identification.

When Rizzo was convicted, it was revealed that on a weekly basis, for more than two years, Savarese traveled around the country and broke into lockers at two different nationwide gyms. After Savarese stole the credit cards, he then transferred the names from the credit cards to Rizzo or one of his co-conspirators in Massachusetts who purchased fake identifications with photos of Savarese or one of his co-conspirators and the names from the stolen cards. Then, on weekends, Savarese met up with one or more of the other defendants at racetracks and casinos all over the country to use those stolen credit cards to take thousands of dollars in fraudulent cash advances.

Sentencing for Savarese is scheduled for April 27, at 2:00 p.m. He faces up to five years in prison on the conspiracy charge; on the aggravated identity theft charges he faces up to two years on each count; and up to 10 years on the identity theft fraud count.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation – New England Field Division and the Boston Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam J. Bookbinder of Ortiz’s Computer Crime Unit and Sarah E. Walters of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

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