In December 2010, a Seal Beach woman went to a U.S. Bank in Huntington Beach near Golden West College to make a mortgage transaction and discovered $610,359 missing from her accounts.
Two weeks earlier, Zenobia Moore stole the woman's identity and, using a fake California driver's license, withdrew the money from a U.S. Bank near Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.
With the aid of a co-conspirator, Moore tried to convert her loot into 402 gold coins, but the plot collapsed with Southern California FBI and Homeland Security agents in pursuit.
According to law enforcement records, Moore--a.k.a. Zenobia Garcia-Rertuz--operated a brazen, multi-state identity theft operation beginning in at least 2008 and stole more than $440,000 in additional funds by obtaining numerous victims' personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth and addresses.
When confronted with U.S. Bank surveillance camera images, Moore confessed, a move that won her reduced punishment from a maximum potential term of 32 years.
Noting the emotional trauma suffered by the victims, Assistant United States Attorney Joseph McNally recommended a term of 45 months in prison plus full restitution.
This week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney agreed.
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(Moore successfully convinced Carney to seal her sentencing argument from public inspection.)
The defendant, who is free on bail, has until noon on Sept. 18 to self-surrender to prison officials.