Reno Resident Indicted For Allegedly Using Over 8,000 Fraudulent PayPal Accounts To Commit Approximately $3.5 Million Fraud Scheme

RENO, Nev. – A Reno resident made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday for allegedly engaging in a $3.5 million fraud scheme involving over 8,000 fraudulent PayPal credit accounts, bank accounts, and prepaid credit and debit card accounts he created with stolen identities.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Office, Special Agent in Charge Brian Spellacy of the U.S. Secret Service Las Vegas Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan of the IRS Criminal Investigation, Inspector in Charge Melisa Llosa of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Chief Jason Soto of the Reno Police Department made the announcement.

Kenneth Gilbert Gibson, 46, was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud; three counts of mail fraud; 10 counts of bank fraud; six counts of access device fraud; and six counts of aggravated identity theft.

According to allegations made in the indictment, between 2012 and 2017, Gibson allegedly obtained the identities of multiple victims and used those victim’s identities to open unauthorized online accounts, credit accounts, bank accounts, and prepaid debit and credit card accounts to obtain money and property. In total, he allegedly opened over 8,000 fraudulent and unauthorized accounts with PayPal, an online payment company, using the stolen identities. He then allegedly used those fraudulent and unauthorized accounts to transfer, deposit, and send approximately $3.5 million to himself via hard copy checks and through electronic transactions to approximately 500 bank accounts and pre-paid debit cards owned and under his control.

If convicted, the defendant faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud and mail fraud counts; a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for the bank fraud counts; a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the access device fraud counts; and a statutory maximum penalty of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft counts. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release and a criminal forfeiture money judgment.

The case is being jointly investigated by a Task Force consisting of the FBI, United States Secret Service, IRS, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Reno Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla B. Higginbotham.

 

If you believe you are a victim of the alleged fraud, phone the FBI at 1-866-4FBIOVA (1-866-432-4682), email RenoIDTheft@fbi.gov, or visit https://forms.fbi.gov/RenoIDTheft.

You can report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at www.identitytheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338. For identity theft prevention tips and free resources visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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