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Attempted Gearys Beverly Hills Purchases Tied to Identity Theft Scheme

A Park La Brea man was sentenced to six years in federal prison for his role in stealing the identities of elderly credit card holders in an effort to buy expensive merchandise.

A Park La Brea man was sentenced Monday to 76 months in federal prison for his role in an international identity theft and credit card fraud scheme targeting elderly cardholders.

Doren Harold Ward, 37, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. to pay restitution of about $300,000 and serve five years under supervised release after he leaves prison.

A Los Angeles federal jury convicted Ward in June of six felony counts, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. Evidence showed Ward was involved in a conspiracy that used about a dozen credit cards, most of which belonged to elderly victims, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

British members of the fraud scheme impersonated the typically elderly cardholders and asked the credit card company to send replacement cards to Southland mail drops. The callers would claim to be on vacation in Southern California and planning to make large purchases while there, according to federal prosecutors.

Armed with fake driver's licenses that matched victim identities, Ward and associates used the credit cards to attempt to purchase more than $250,000 in Rolex watches and other items at high-end retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Gearys Beverly Hills and Ben Bridge Jeweler. Before the trial, co-conspirator Sedrick Bagby, 36, of South Los Angeles pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was sentenced last month to 90 months in prison.

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