Samson Kidane Asres faces up to 47 years in prison if found guilty in a conspiracy that caused $500,000 in loss

Eight individuals have been charged by a federal grand jury with running a complex identity theft ring that caused the loss of about $500,000. Of the eight, five are Dallas residents, and Lake Highlands resident Samson Kidane Asres is the lead defendant in the case.

Asres was arrested in late January and faces multiple counts related to identity theft and up to 47 years in federal prison if he is convicted. The co-defendants face sentences ranging from 5 to 45 years in prison.

According to the indictment, Asres allegedly obtained or purchased personal information from victims and then gained access to their credit reports from credit agencies. Using that information, Asres paid co-conspirators to purchase cell phones, speakers, watches, clothing and other items, which he would then sell for profit.

To make expensive purchases, co-conspirators were given fraudulent drivers licenses with the image of the co-conspirator but the information of the victim. They were also given fake utility bills and pertinent information from the victims’ credit reports that enabled them to answer security questions on credit checks to qualify for large lines of credit at retail stores.

The eight have not been convicted, but their court documents were unsealed last week. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole Dana and Kenneth Coffin are prosecuting the case.