MIAMI – A car salesman in Florida pled guilty to selling customer data to an identity theft ring, and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, according to R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

The former salesman, Dayton Diaz, 26, of Miramar, Fla., and Kearn Matthew, 26, of Lauderhill, Fla., pled guilty on Nov. 10 to conspiring to commit mail fraud. Matthew also pled guilty to a substantive count of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the criminal indictment and court documents, Dayton Diaz was a sales manager at a South Florida car dealership and had access to customer data, including names, addresses, social security numbers, and birthdays. Diaz sold the customer data of more than 75 former customers of the dealership to his co-conspirators.

Using this information, Matthew and other co-conspirators would obtain a line of credit in the name of former customers and identity theft victims. Matthew and others would then buy computers on the internet and pay for the computers using the newly acquired line of credit.

The computers were shipped via an interstate mail carrier to the home address of the identity theft victim. Knowing the approximate date and time of delivery, Diaz, Matthew, and other co-conspirators would present false information to the delivery truck driver in order to take possession of the fraudulently purchased computers. More than $600,000 in fraudulent purchases were linked to the fraud scheme.

The investigation was conducted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Both defendants are scheduled to appear before the Honorable William J. Zloch for sentencing on Jan. 6, 2009. Diaz faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, and Matthew faces a maximum of 60 years imprisonment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey A. Neiman.