Columbia man convicted of wire fraud, identity theft

Sunday, September 2, 2007 | 5:24 p.m. CDT; updated 9:12 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man was convicted of wire fraud and identity theft Friday for obtaining credit cards using identities he found by researching local obituaries, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office said.

Daniel Christian Sewell, 30, was sentenced to five years and five months in federal prison without the possibility of parole, said Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri ordered Sewell to pay restitution to his victims.

Sewell pleaded guilty to both charges, admitting that he spent more than $30,000 using credit cards he acquired by combing obituaries for names of Boone County residents who had died. He then called funeral homes and posed as a representative of a life insurance company, obtaining enough information to acquire credit cards online in the names of his deceased victims.

Sewell had the cards mailed to either his or his girlfriend’s address.

“He was applying for credit cards that were delivered to his residence,” Ledford said. “There was a paper trail.”

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