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Penngrove Identity Theft Defendant Sentenced to Prison

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Penngrove Identity Theft Defendant Sentenced to Prison

Christopher Matheson, 37-years-old of Penngrove, California, was sentenced today by the Honorable Peter Ottenweller to an eight-year prison sentence.  On December 9, 2014 Matheson pled guilty to 7 felonies and admitted a prior prison conviction on December 9, 2014, and stipulated to an eight-year prison term. Matheson was charged with multiple counts of fraud, possession of stolen identities, forgery of a state seal, and counterfeiting access cards.

District Attorney Ravitch said “Identity theft is a serious problem in our community.  This was a sophisticated operation that put many people’s financial security at risk.  As such, we sought, and the court imposed, a significant sentence that will hold the defendant accountable and serve as a warning to others who might consider similar conduct.”

On August 23, 2011 Mr. Matheson, a parolee-at-large who absconded from state supervision in October of 2009, was arrested after law enforcement received a tip that he was living in Penngrove.  At the time of his arrest Mr. Matheson gave a false name.  When searched he was found to be in possession of a forged California driver’s license and multiple counterfeit credit cards. In the trunk of his car Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies discovered a credit card embossing machine, a computer, a credit card scanning device, and other counterfeiting equipment.

A search warrant was executed on Matheson’s residence which yielded 100 counterfeit cards in various stages of completion, stolen mail, stolen social security cards, birth certificates, and credit reports.  Deputies also located numerous items used to produce counterfeit cards and driver’s licenses, including:  blank card stock, various credit card stickers and symbols, templates, foil, laminate, and State of California seals used in making California driver’s licenses.

Deputy District Attorney Daniel Cohan prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Mike Raasch, and U.S. Secret Service Agent Brad Delsini.