Crime - Sacto 911

Woodland residents plead guilty to diverting mail in identity theft scheme

Two Woodland residents have pleaded guilty to participating in an identity theft scheme that involved fraudulent vacation holds and mail forwarding requests filed online with the U.S. Postal Service.

Latomba Bishop, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Sacramento to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, and Joshua Yadon, 34, pleaded guilty to obtaining mail by fraud, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Bishop, Yadon and Norman Thompson, 36, of Sacramento conspired to obtain credit cards, checks and merchandise in the victims’ names. They used fraudulent vacation holds and mail forwarding requests filed online with the U.S. Postal Service to divert the items from the victims’ addresses to their own addresses, the news release said. The defendants were captured on video using fraudulently obtained credit cards at various retail stores in the Sacramento area.

Bishop made a $1,000 online purchase of shoes using a victim’s compromised online merchant account, the news release said. When the victim reported the fraud and the shipment was canceled, Bishop called the company, posing as the victim, and demanded to be reimbursed for the purchase, directing the company to mail checks to Bishop’s address.

On April 19, Yadon and Bishop purchased more than $1,000 in merchandise at a home improvement store using a credit card obtained through the scheme, according to the news release.

Yadon and Bishop are to be sentenced Feb. 15 by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley.

Co-defendant Thompson was sentenced in October to three years and 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to obtain mail by fraud and was ordered to pay $38,086 in restitution to victims, the news release said.

The case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Davis and Woodland police departments, and the Sacramento County Probation Department.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy