ID Theft Alleged at D.C. Blockbuster
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
A former employee of the Blockbuster video store in Dupont Circle has been indicted on charges of stealing customers' identities, then using them to buy more than $117,000 in trips, electronics and other goods, including a Mercedes-Benz.
A grand jury charged that Miles N. Holloman stole credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other private financial information from the application files of 65 customers of the Blockbuster store in 2003, then used some of that data to open retail store and credit card accounts.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, Holloman, 25, repeatedly succeeded in pretending to be other people.
Prosecutors say he allegedly ran up major expenses by tapping the credit of at least five people. In one case, they say, Holloman obtained a replacement credit card in one male customer's name, then used that credit card to buy a used 2002 Mercedes and to obtain a D.C. driver's license that bore the customer's name but Holloman's picture.
The indictment said Holloman worked with at least one accomplice, a friend named Marsheena Riggsbee, to mine information from customers' application files, apply for new credit cards and order goods by mail. As part of the conspiracy, prosecutors say, Holloman or Riggsbee would wait for the goods to be delivered to the customers' addresses and then intercept the packages.
Holloman, of the 100 block of Wilmington Place SE, worked at the Blockbuster store at 1639 P St. NW from February to September 2003. He faces 41 to 57 months in prison if convicted on all the conspiracy and fraud charges.
Riggsbee, who is cooperating in the investigation, pleaded guilty this year to one count of conspiracy for her role in the identity thefts. Her plea agreement with federal prosecutors, unsealed late yesterday afternoon, indicates she probably faces a sentence of 10 to 16 months in prison.
Riggsbee's attorney, Joanne Hepworth, said her client was a gullible victim in the case and played a "minimal" role in the fraud. The Federal Public Defender's office, which represented Holloman yesterday when he was arraigned in federal court, did not return calls for comment.
A Blockbuster corporate spokesman, Randy Hargrove, said the company is looking into reports of misconduct by its former employee and intends to work with authorities on the case.
"Blockbuster's top concern is the privacy of its customers," he said. "Blockbuster takes this matter extremely seriously."