Georgia man sentenced to prison for multi-state identity fraud ring

A Georgia man will spend over two years in federal prison for leading a multi-state identity fraud ring, authorities say.

Officials say 39-year-old Canton resident Kenson Hunte pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with the intent to use five or more false identification documents.

According to court documents, on March 6, 2019, Hunte and his three codefendants were driving on State Road 27 in Glynn County when a Georgia State Patrol trooper pulled them over for speeding.

When troopers searched the car, officials say they found 44 fake driver licenses and other identification cards from multiple states.

In the evidence presented in court, attorneys said that starting around January 2019, Hunte and a co-conspirator used the fake IDs to buy 127 cell phones and network contracts from a third-party retailer in an Alabama Walmart. The two allegedly paid only a percentage of the cost up front and let the conspirator received commissions and kickbacks. Hunte then sold the phones on the black market.

In total, officials say the retailer suffered over $104,000 dollars in damage. 

"Hunte led his codefendants into a theft and fraud scheme for no purposes other than to enrich themselves at the expense of innocent victims," said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. "Prison time and the payment of substantial restitution will help hold him accountable for his crimes."

Three other codefendants – 39-year-old Norcross resident Sheryl Henderson, 27-year-old Colby Hart, 27 of Vidalia, and 23-year-old Atlanta resident Monique Laing - previously pled guilty in connection to the scheme.

A district court judge sentenced Hunte to 34 months in prison without parole followed by three years of supervised release.

Hunte is also ordered to pay restitution of $104,347.16.