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Guilty plea in D.C. identity thefts

Washington Post Editors

A District woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy and fraud in connection with a credit card and identity theft ring operating out of Northwest Washington.

The ring charged $89,000 to nearly 200 companies and individuals by stealing mail from residential mailboxes, credit card receipts from Johnson’s Flower shops in Tenleytown and Kensington and a medical office in Friendship Heights, according to authorities.

Dionne N. Witherspoon, 38, of the 1300 block of 6th Street NW, admitted running the ring from December 2006 through March 2010 with an unindicted co-conspirator identified in court papers as “R.G.R.M.”

Witherspoon faces a likely sentence of up to 121 months in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 under U.S. sentencing guidelines. The maximums allowed under law are 20 years and $250,000.

Witherspoon had co-conspirators obtain victims’ identification and bank account information, then accept delivery of merchandise bought with the proceeds at their homes, prosecutors said. The ring also stole credit card receipts and prescriptions from a CVS Pharmacy at 13th and U Streets NW and student information from Howard University.

The stolen information was used to make transactions on legitimate credit accounts maintained by victims, to open on-line credit accounts and to tap “pay-by-phone” checking account payments.

Witherspoon gave co-conspirators a cut of merchandise, “discounted” payments of utility and cell phone bills and D.C. parking tickets — whose balance was paid by stolen funds.

Others who have pleaded guilty in the case and who are cooperating pending sentencing are Kimberly Hatton, 41, , and Peeair Bassil, 42, of Washington, and LaKisha Williams, 34, of Oxon Hill.

-- Spencer S. Hsu

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 19, 2010; 7:39 AM ET
Categories:  Cons & Scams , From the Courthouse , Spencer S. Hsu , The District  
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Others who have pleaded guilty in the case...are...Peeair Bassil...

Peeair for Pierre. That's the funniest ghetto spelling yet.

And I thought I thought "Antwan" was funny because they didn't know how to spell Antoine. Bwaaahaaaaaa

Posted by: checkered1 | August 19, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Peeair Bassil"...apparently Hooked On Phonics isn't as effective as the ad claims...

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | August 19, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Ondray (andre!) - LOL!!!

Posted by: DecafDrinker | August 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

They know how to spell the names, but are hell bent on trying to distinguish themselves from others, which they think makes the child unique. Sorry to tell you this young brothers and sisters, but when you name your children outrageously spelled and pronounced names they are automatically labeled. Then what gets me is that some of us (NOT ME) come up with these names only to give them a nickname like, pukey, man-man, big-boy or something else.

My son wanted to name my grandson some crazy-a name. I successfully bribed him not to do so. Please, please, please stop doing this to your children.

Posted by: gladiatorgal | August 19, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Had a student once named "Unique." And twin girls at another school named "DeElegance" and "LeElegance." I think if people want to give crazy names, they should rename themselves and give their kids normal, real names. gladiatoral - glad the bribe worked for your grandson!

Posted by: DecafDrinker | August 19, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Conversely, gladiatorial, we caucasians are just as guilty of the designer name yet "unique" spelling so your poor kid never gets his name pronounced, spelled correctly and (yeah, this is petty) never can find the mug, key chains, pencil, zipper pull at the mall. You will never hear any of these kids in their life say thanks mom, for giving me that "unique" spelling. We would have to answer: I did it for you (not really, it was the hormones and the pain pills in the hospital) -Kayleigh, Baighlee, Keven, Maree, Khrystan, and the best-Rockzana. No, this is not just a "ghetto" thing.

Posted by: stopthemadness | August 19, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse are right! We had a white girl at our school named "Aphrille" (April) and "Lorac" (mom's name Carol backwards!) [I know we are off the topic, but this is interesting and fun...]

Posted by: DecafDrinker | August 19, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

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