A Hartford couple who authorities said stole the identities of high-profile celebrities, including rapper 50 Cent and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, and using the victims' credit cards to buy Tiffany & Co. diamonds, Honda Vespa scooters and three used Cadillacs, was sentenced on Tuesday.
After a five-year investigation, members of the Connecticut Financial Crimes Task Force, the United States Secret Service, and the Hartford Police Department searched a home on Capitol Avenue in November. On Nov. 7, police arrested Jonathan Preston, 23, and Lumi Nunez, 34, a married couple.
They have been detained since and both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
On Tuesday, Preston was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison and Nunez was sentenced to two years and six months.
According to investigators, the pair defrauded seven high-profile victims across the country, including singers and athletes from Farmington, Conn., Miami and Beverly Hills.
Court documents showed Preston and Nunez found the celebrities' personal information on the Internet, and obtained their credit card numbers.
They are accused of spending more than $500,000 on items that included Tiffany diamonds, dozens of Honda Vespa scooters and expensive cars. Investigators said most purchases were made online and on the phone.
Money transferred to a Foxwoods Casino account for Nunez was spent on blackjack and roulette, according to court documents.
The documents also showed a singer in the Farmington case was taken for more than $462,000. The suspects allegedly used his American Express number, bought three Cadillacs and hired a limousine to drive Nunez and a child from Hartford to Ohio.
Preston and Nunez were charged with credit card fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, counterfeiting and conspiracy.
Nunez asked for leniency because of her "subservient mentality," which led her to "go along with whatever male would provide her some support," according to the sentencing memo, but the government determined that her arguments have no merit.
Investigators did not release names of the victims.
Preston and Nunez have also been ordered to serve three years of supervised.