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No jail time for ID fraud ring member

Updated: October 4, 2012 11:23PM



A Chicago man will not serve any prison time after helping federal attorneys go after the leaders of an identity fraud ring.

Instead, Michael Haywood, 51, was sentenced Thursday morning at the U.S. District Court to three years of probation after pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the federal government and using another person’s identification in a Social Security fraud.

Haywood was arrested in 2009 with using 10 people’s identities to get Indiana and Illinois drivers licenses. He then used those and other fake documents such as birth certificates to open financial accounts and deposit fraudulent checks.

His part of the case totaled more than $31,000, which U.S. Judge James Moody ordered he pay back to 35 businesses, most of which were retail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Toi Denise Houston gave Haywood credit for cooperating immediately after his arrest. She said he was prepared to testify against some 20 other people involved in the conspiracy and that the government was able to get convictions for the leaders because of his help.

His attorney, Visvaldis Kupsis, said Haywood has also worked to turn his life around since his arrest by holding down full-time employment. Haywood told Moody he turned to the fraud because he was unemployed at the time.



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