MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Nov. 19 that an Essex County man was sentenced to prison for stealing the identity of a bank account holder and using a fraudulently obtained debit card to make more than $67,000 in purchases and withdrawals.
Corey N. Blanton, 28, of Maplewood, was sentenced to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Robert Kirsch in Union County. Blanton pleaded guilty on Jan. 22, 2019, to third-degree charges of impersonation/theft of identity and theft by deception. He must pay full restitution. Blanton previously failed to appear in court multiple times for sentencing, but was recently detained in the Union County Jail on a bench warrant issued by Kirsch.
Blanton was indicted in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice that began when an investigator for Bank of America contacted the NJSP about thefts involving the fraudulently obtained debit card. The investigation revealed that Blanton obtained personal information about the account holder that enabled him to order a new debit card and have it mailed to an address in Georgia. Once Blanton received the debit card, he used it to make more than $67,000 in purchases and withdrawals in New Jersey and Georgia. Investigators identified Blanton as the man using the debit card and had a warrant issued for his arrest. Blanton was arrested in April 2017 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.
“Identity theft and credit card fraud cause billions of dollars in losses each year to financial institutions and consumers,” Grewal said. “We’re working with all levels of law enforcement and the financial industry to protect consumers from these costly and disruptive crimes and bring identity thieves like Blanton to justice.”
“Our Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau aggressively investigates identity theft, financial fraud and other types of white-collar crime in collaboration with the New Jersey State Police, other law enforcement partners and impacted financial institutions,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “This case illustrates our determination to hold these criminals accountable.”
“Victims of identity theft not only suffer from financial loss, but are also traumatized by the invasion of their privacy,” said Col. Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We will continue to aggressively pursue and arrest criminals like Blanton, deterring others like him and hopefully offering some solace to their victims.”