ID fraud gets man
30-month sentence

He obtained $140,000 worth of
merchandise over a 5-month period

An Ewa Beach man who admitted to using other people's identities to open lines of credit and obtain more than $140,000 worth of merchandise over five months has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Craig Aoki, 32, obtained credit card numbers, checking account numbers and other personal information from a ring of car burglars. He also had access to bank records on 300 American Savings Bank customers through his wife, a former relief teller who has since been fired, federal prosecutors said.

Aoki apparently committed the offenses because of his addiction to crystal methamphetamine, said U.S. District Judge Susan Mollway, who sentenced Aoki Monday to 30 months in federal prison for access device fraud, identification document fraud and misuse of a Social Security number. She also ordered him to pay $116,133 in restitution to up to 45 victims.

Aoki was accused of using the personal information he obtained to manufacture bogus ID cards for himself and others so they could obtain credit, prosecutors said.

Aoki had been indicted in October on 26 separate charges relating to identity theft, but he pleaded guilty in January to only three counts in exchange for the government dropping the remaining counts.

Although Aoki identified at least nine individuals who were involved in his scheme, he refused to provide information about the activities of his wife who compromised bank records, prosecutors said.

When federal agents searched Aoki's Ewa Beach home, they found bank documents allegedly brought home by his wife that contained financial information on 300 American Savings customers, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Tong. But without Aoki's cooperation, Aoki's wife could not be prosecuted, he said.

Nathan Hokama, spokesman for American Savings, said, "Once we became aware of the situation, we took action with the employee which resulted in her termination to protect our customers."

Since the incident, American Savings changed security procedures to prevent a similar breach, Hokama said. He added that there have been no reports of fraud on the 300 accounts.


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