Defining “victim” under federal fraud sentencing guidelines. Los Angeles Man Sentenced to 27 Years.

The district court did not abuse its discretion when it imposed a twolevel sentence enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(2)(A)(i) for Kirilyuk’s commission of a crime involving ten or more victims. The PSR recommended this enhancement based on the 119,913 victims whose American Express accounts were used and the 222 students whose transcripts were stolen. Kirilyuk, however, claims that the evidence establishes that there were only two victims—Chase Bank and American Express—because accountholders were reimbursed and the students’ losses aren’t measurable in money.

Section 2B1.1(b)(2)(A)(i) provides for a two-level increase “[i]f the offense involved 10 or more victims.” An application note to that section defines “victim” as including, inter alia, “any individual whose means of identification was used unlawfully or without authority.” U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1 cmt. n.4(E)(ii). The Guidelines incorporate the definition of “means of identification” from 8 U.S.C. § 1028(d)(7). U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1 cmt. n.1. That provision defines “means of identification” as “any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual.” 18 U.S.C. § 1028(d)(7). Both credit card numbers and the information stolen from the students, such as social security numbers, are “means of identification.” See, e.g., United States v. Melendrez, 389 F.3d 829, 835 (9th Cir. 2004). Thus, the credit card accountholders and students fit within the Guidelines’ definition of victims.

Full case here:

Los Angeles Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison for Scheme to Defraud American Express and Account Holders Nationwide.

Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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