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TRENTON –Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that an Essex County man was sentenced to prison today for stealing the identity of a bank account holder and using a fraudulently obtained debit card to make over $67,000 in purchases and withdrawals.
Corey N. Blanton, 28, of Maplewood, N.J., was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert A. Kirsch in Union County. Blanton pleaded guilty on Jan. 22, 2019 to third-degree charges of impersonation/theft of identity and theft by deception. He must pay full restitution. Blanton previously failed to appear in court multiple times for sentencing, but was recently detained in the Union County Jail on a bench warrant issued by Judge Kirsch.
Deputy Attorney General Thomas Huynh and former Deputy Attorney General Joseph Remy prosecuted Blanton, and Deputy Attorney General Huynh represented the Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau at the sentencing hearing.
Blanton was indicted in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice that began when an investigator for Bank of America contacted the State Police about thefts involving the fraudulently obtained debit card. The investigation revealed that Blanton obtained personal information about the account holder that enabled him to order a new debit card and have it mailed to an address in Georgia. Once Blanton received the debit card, he used it to make more than $67,000 in purchases and withdrawals in New Jersey and Georgia. Investigators identified Blanton as the man using the debit card and had a warrant issued for his arrest. Blanton was arrested in April 2017 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.
“Identity theft and credit card fraud cause billions of dollars in losses each year to financial institutions and consumers,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We’re working with all levels of law enforcement and the financial industry to protect consumers from these costly and disruptive crimes and bring identity thieves like Blanton to justice.”
“Our Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau aggressively investigates identity theft, financial fraud, and other types of white collar crime in collaboration with the New Jersey State Police, other law enforcement partners, and impacted financial institutions,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This case illustrates our determination to hold these criminals accountable.”
“Victims of identity theft not only suffer from financial loss, but are also traumatized by the invasion of their privacy,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to aggressively pursue and arrest criminals like Blanton, deterring others like him and hopefully offering some solace to their victims.”
Deputy Attorneys General Huynh and Remy prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau under the supervision of former Bureau Chief Julia S. Glass and Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter.
Sgt. Robert Arnesen was the lead detective for the New Jersey State Police. Attorney General Grewal thanked Bank of America and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their valuable assistance.
Defense Attorney: Jon P. Letendre, Esq., Elizabeth, N.J.