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Felon with Lengthy Criminal Past Pleads Guilty to ID Theft in Dark Web Scheme

Published By
U.S. Attorney's Office
Published Date


ALBANY, GA –A Florida resident who is already serving more than a decade in federal prison for committing fraud in his home state pleaded guilty this week to a new aggravated identity theft charge in Southwest Georgia after being caught trading personal identification information with individuals on the dark web and teaching others how to obtain fraudulent bank loans.

Damien D. Dennis, 44, of Middleburg, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft before U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner on Feb. 7. Dennis faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison to be served consecutively to 12 years imprisonment imposed in the Middle District of Florida to be followed by three years of supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine. For more information about the Middle District of Florida conviction and sentencing, please visit: Dennis is not eligible for parole.

“Innocent people’s identities were stolen and used to create phony documents so other scam artists could commit all manner of theft and fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Damien Dennis was running an ID theft scheme that went so far as to teach other individuals how to commit fraud—including how to obtain bank loans—using other people’s stolen identities. Working alongside our law enforcement partners, our office is committed to holding fraudsters accountable and stopping these criminals from preying upon individuals and businesses.”

“This case is another example that clearly shows criminals are continuously looking for ways to steal from unwitting victims. In this case, victims were violated when Damien Dennis possessed their Personal Identifiable Information (PII) for the sole purpose of committing fraud,” said Resident Agent in Charge Clint Bush of the U.S. Secret Service’s Albany, Georgia, Resident Office. “The United States Secret Service, along with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate, arrest and support the successful prosecution of the criminals who choose to commit this and other types of financial fraud in our community and around the nation.”  

According to court documents, the Ashburn Police Department pulled Dennis over for speeding on Feb. 25, 2020; Dennis was driving with a suspended license and was taken into custody. Inside Dennis’s car, officers found eight drivers licenses belonging to actual people living in seven states and one social security card. Officers also found blank W-2 forms, blank check papers, badge makers, printers, bank ID cards, security laminates and scotch business card protectors inside the car; these materials are some of the tools used to commit fraud and identity theft. Cells phones, laptops and a USB thumb drive were also recovered.

Dennis told officers he purchased the identification documents from unknown individuals on the dark web. He would use this information to create profiles to sell to other people. Dennis admitted to using the equipment and documents found in his car to make counterfeit identification cards, drivers licenses, social security cards, W-2s, lease agreements and entire profiles for customers needing them for fraudulent uses. Secret Service agents discovered extensive conversations on Dennis’s cell phones where he was teaching unknown individuals how to use the fake profiles to request and obtain bank loans.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service (USSS) and the Ashburn Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Redavid is prosecuting the case for the Government.