By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - A Shenandoah man will spent just over the next five years in prison, according to a sentence handed down on April 5.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the sentence Tuesday for Mario M. Valentine, 35, of Shenandoah. The sentence, rendered by District Court Judge A. Richard Caputo, will place Valentine behind bars for 64 months, followed by three years of supervised release, for money laundering and identity theft.
According to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed, between January 2013 and May 2015, Valentine and co-defendant Carrie Aker laundered over $218,000 in credit card fraud proceeds by using forged cards to purchase gift cards and other items, which they would sell or convert to cash.
The pair was charged with committing nearly $270,000 worth of credit card fraud. Valentine was also convicted of using other's stolen identities in the process.
The two admitted to continuing their activities, even after law enforcement officials confronted them.
In Valentine's sentencing, Caputo determined Valentine lied under oath at an evidentiary hearing, which warranted "an enhanced sentencing guidelines calculation for his obstructive conduct," the attorney's office said.
Additionally, Caputo noted the serious nature and extent of the offense, labeling it as a "21st Century crime."
Valentine was ordered to pay $269,575,35 in restitution to his victims.
Aker pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
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