A Charlotte man stole local residents’ personal information over the internet to apply for credit cards and loans, then pilfered the cards from their mailboxes, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Justin Frank Pettway, 30, got a $58,000 loan for a Corvette and at least $200,000 for other purchases through his scheme, court records show.
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Pettway was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Charlotte to four years in prison on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and bank fraud, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray said.
Pettway worked for an S.C.-based debt collection company, through which he used an internet service that provides debt collection companies with computer and smartphone access to numerous public and private databases, court documents show. The databases contain personal information of people applying for credit cards and loans, including Social Security numbers, birthdates, phone numbers and addresses.
Once banks notified Pettway that approved credit cards had been mailed, Pettway drove to his victims’ homes to snatch the cards. Victims typically learned of the unauthorized credit cards when they received billing statements in the mail, according to court records.
Pettway charged $226,517 to the credit cards to get cash from ATMs and goods and services from merchants, prosecutors said. He bought the Corvette from an out-of-state car dealer, using the $58,000 loan he obtained in the name of one of his victims.