A Los Angeles man was sentenced Monday to 48 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain American Express credit cards and use them to purchase more than a half-million dollars in goods at luxury stores.
Trace Jevon “Million Dollar” Jones, 33, was also ordered to pay $521,128 in restitution to American Express, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Jones, who was a transient living in downtown Los Angeles when he was arrested in 2019, pleaded guilty in September 2020 to one federal count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to prosecutors, between roughly November 2016 and July 2018, Jones led the scheme to obtain the credit cards and make unauthorized purchases at high-end retail stores. Jones and his co-conspirators stole credit cared information and other personal information of actual American Express account holders.
The group used that information to convince American Express to send out replacement credit cards in the victims’ names. They used the fraudulently obtained cards to make purchases at luxury stores such as Barneys, Goyard and Gucci in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Costa Mesa.
Four other defendants have already been sentenced in the case. Terry Ellis Jr., 40, of Chino, and Davion Raymone Ellis, 32, of Eastvale, were sentenced to two years and three years, respectively, after pleading guilty to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft charges in this case.
Cherelle Daire Beal, 31, of Eastvale, and Miranda Clare Hensley, 31, of Las Vegas, were given credit for time served and were ordered to serve three years of supervised release. Another defendant, Jonathan Randall Ross, 33, of Canoga Park, is scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks.