Home New Haven Press Releases 2012 Accomplice in Movie Theater Credit Card Theft Scheme Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison

Accomplice in Movie Theater Credit Card Theft Scheme Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 29, 2012
  • District of Connecticut (203) 821-3700

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Jamie McGowan, 25, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for her role in a credit card fraud and identity theft scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2008 and 2010, Anthony Johnson, also of Philadelphia, operated a credit card fraud and identity theft scheme at movie theaters in Connecticut. As part of the scheme, Johnson targeted movies that he believed were geared toward women. Johnson and a female accomplice would then enter a theater and sit behind an intended victim. As the movie played, Johnson crawled on the floor and removed credit cards from a purse that a victim had placed on the floor of the theater. Johnson then created false identification in each victim’s name but with a photo of his female accomplice. He then used the stolen credit cards to make substantial unauthorized purchases and cash advances.

On three occasions between April and August 2010, Johnson and McGowan traveled to Connecticut and stole credit cards from female patrons at movie theaters in Greenwich, Fairfield, and Colchester. Johnson produced false driver’s licenses in each victim’s name but with a photograph of McGowan. At Johnson’s direction, McGowan used the stolen credit cards and fraudulent identification to purchase thousands of dollars in gift cards and retail items and also to make more than $5,000 in cash advances at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

Judge Bryant ordered McGowan to pay restitution in the amount of $20,468.31.

McGowan has been detained since her arrest on January 17, 2012. On June 22, she pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized use of an access device and one count of aggravated identity theft.

On October 22, 2012, a jury found Johnson guilty of seven counts of unauthorized use of an access device and two counts of aggravated identity theft stemming from this scheme. He awaits sentencing.

Lashirelle Bryant, who traveled to Connecticut with Johnson in December 2008, stole credit cards, and made more than $50,000 in unauthorized purchases, also has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Greenwich, Fairfield, and Waterford Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rahul Kale and Paul H. McConnell.