ATLANTA - Antonio Sandridge and Rodney Sandridge have been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for mail fraud conspiracy. The defendants, who are brothers, operated a fraud ring where they hijacked corporate identities and used them to fraudulently order over $500,000 in electronics. Both defendants were previously convicted of similar conduct in 2006.
“These defendants manipulated public records and hijacked corporate identities to order expensive electronics for themselves,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Worse, they preyed on small businesses, so the losses suffered by these victims were potentially devastating.”
"The Sandridge brothers made their living by victimizing small businesses,” said Kenneth Cronin, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office. sentences imposed today should be a reminder that the Secret Service, in conjunction with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office, will continue to arrest and prosecute criminals who repeatedly take advantage of innocent victims and companies.”
“The Atlanta Police Department strives to protect our citizens and businesses every day. We are extremely proud of the investigative work that went into building a strong case against these career criminals and the outstanding cooperation with both the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s office to get a conviction,” said Erika Shields, Chief of Atlanta Police Department.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: From 2012 until February 2014, the Sandridges engaged in a scheme where they stole the identities of dormant Georgia corporations by filing new registration information for existing companies on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website, unbeknownst to the actual owners of the corporations. The false registration would list new company officers and a new corporate address, which was a virtual office space under the conspirators’ control.
After stealing the corporate identity of Georgia companies, the Sandridge brothers and co-conspirators would use fake credit applications to order laptops and other electronics from victim vendors in the names of the hijacked companies. The computer equipment was purchased on credit with payment due in the weeks following delivery, and the delivery address was a virtual office space controlled by the conspirators. When victim vendors shipped computer equipment to the virtual office space, Rodney Sandridge picked up the fraudulently ordered electronics, and Antonio Sandridge immediately sold the electronics to third-party resellers.
In total, over $540,000 in computer equipment was ordered from 16 victim companies, and the victims received little more than a couple hundred dollars, if anything, for the orders despite repeated efforts to collect payment.
In 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District in Georgia sentenced the Sandridges to prison on federal conspiracy charges based on their participation in a nearly identical scheme from 2001 to 2005.
Antonio Sandridge, 49, of Tucker, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May to two years and three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $85,736. Rodney Sandridge, 51, of Duluth, Georgia, was also sentenced by Judge May to three years and six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and he was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $389,123. Antonio and Rodney Sandridge were convicted on these charges on November 22, 2016 and January 20, 2017, respectively, after they pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Atlanta Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Samir Kaushal and Nathan P. Kitchens prosecuted the case.
--DOJ Northern District of Georgia