22-Year Sentence In Multi-State Identity Theft Scheme

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A federal judge in Connecticut has sentenced a Florida man to 22 years in prison for participating in what authorities say was a multi-state identity theft scheme in which he and another man targeted purses in cars.

Michael Johnson of Miami Gardens, Fla., was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford. A jury last year found Johnson and Jermaine Jones of West Palm Beach, Fla., guilty of bank fraud, conspiracy and identity theft offenses.

U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Bryant found that Johnson and his co-conspirators were responsible for stealing or trying to steal more than $2.5 million from more than 150 people.

Johnson, Jones and others recruited women who typically had substance abuse problems to cash the checks at banks.

Jones was sentenced to 20 years earlier this month.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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