ST. LOUIS, MO – United States District Judge Stephen R. Clark sentenced Tyrelle Phillips to 24 months in prison today. The 29-year-old St. Louis, Missouri resident pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identify theft.
On March 30, 2018, First Community Credit Union alerted one of its cardholders of potentially fraudulent activity on her credit card. Richmond Heights Police investigated and learned the cardholder’s account number had been used to buy electronic equipment valued at $1,275.64 from the Microsoft Store. Through interviews with store personnel and reviewing store surveillance, detectives identified Phillips as the individual who made the fraudulent purchase with a prepaid debit card that had a magnetic strip embedded with the credit union customer’s account number.
In a subsequent investigation, Richmond Heights Police also identified Phillips using a counterfeit card embedded with the account of another person to buy merchandise, food and gift cards from various merchants throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Between March 7, 2019 and March 11, 2019, the actual fraud losses through the other person’s credit card exceeded $1,500.
Because Phillips was serving a three-year term of federal supervision after completing a 39-month term of imprisonment for engaging in similar conduct in 2014, he was also sentenced to an additional ten months of incarceration after Judge Clark revoked his earlier term of supervised release. In total, Phillips was ordered to serve a total of 34 months incarceration.
The Richmond Heights Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry is handling the case.