FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:March 2, 2016
Contact: Heather F. WilliamsonCommonwealth’s Attorney’s Office20 East Market StreetLeesburg, VA 20176-2809(703) 777-0242
MASTERMIND BEHIND CREDIT CARD THEFT RING SENTENCED TO FIFTEEN YEARS BY LOUDOUN JURY
FINAL SENTENCING HEARING SCHEDULED FOR MAY 16, 2016
LEESBURG, Virginia – February 1, 2016. A Loudoun County jury found Anthony Wayne Chaconas, 40, guilty of credit card theft, credit card fraud, and identity fraud. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Shamis presented the case on behalf of the Commonwealth. The jury trial concluded with the twelve person jury fixing Chaconas’ sentence at five years for each offense for a total of 15 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, the jury was able to see a portion of the defendant’s prior criminal record, which consisted of convictions for: Obtaining Money by False Pretenses, Credit Card Fraud (x2), Credit Cart Theft, Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Theft over $300, Receiving Stolen Property, Grand Larceny, False ID to Law Enforcement, Resting Arrest (x2), Possession of a Controlled Substance and Burglary.
Beginning in the fall of 2012, Chaconas orchestrated a broad scheme of credit card theft and fraud. Chaconas would break into vehicles and steal debit and credit cards left inside. Angela Jade Chaconas, 40, and Angela Lynn Shrewsbury, 39, would subsequently use the stolen cards to purchase items at various stores throughout Northern Virginia.
In July 2014, a fourth individual disclosed to law enforcement details of the crime ring and was able to identify Angela Chaconas and Angela Shrewsbury in surveillance videos and photographs obtained from the stores where the stolen cards were used.
On March 9, 2015, Shrewsbury entered pleas of guilt to three counts of identity fraud and was given a suspended prison sentence by the judge for her role in this scheme. On July 13, 2015, Angela Chaconas entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to commit credit card theft and the judge directed that she serve two years in the Virginia Department of Corrections. Both were directed to pay over $9,000 in restitution to the victims.
While the number of individuals whose credit cards and identities is somewhat unclear regionally, approximately five victims were located in the Leesburg area. “For those that have had their identity stolen, or their credit compromised, they know all too well how difficult it is to recover from the damage done by thieves such as these,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “Sometimes it can take years for individuals to clear up these matters with the various banks and credit agencies involved.”
Anthony Chaconas’ case is currently set for May 16, 2016 in Circuit Court where a final sentencing hearing will be held before the Hon. Burke F. McCahill who presided over the trial.