Macon – A Macon man was sentenced to prison Wednesday, a day after Bibb County jurors found him guilty of using another man’s identity to set up cable and satellite TV accounts in 2016.
William Eugene West IV, 39, was found guilty of two counts of identity fraud following a trial in Bibb County Superior Court. A judge sentenced him to 15 years, seven of them in prison. Because of his prior fraud and forgery convictions, West was sentenced as a recidivist and isn’t eligible for parole.
Prosecutors Cara Fiore and Kyle Owenby presented evidence during the trial showing:
In August 2016, a Virginia man noticed two delinquent accounts on his credit report: one for cable TV and another for satellite TV, both dating from earlier that year.
Serving in the U.S. Air Force, the man hadn’t lived in Macon for years but he still received mail at a house his mother had rented out to another woman in 2016. West, a man who’d dated the renter was known to visit the house and had access to the airman’s mail, some of which listed his social security number.
A Bibb County Sheriff’s Office investigator determined that although the victim’s name and social security number were used to establish the cable and satellite TV accounts, the phone numbers on one of the accounts belonged to West. The service address on both accounts was West’s apartment at Macon’s Pendleton Homes.
The victim testified it took him a year or two to get the fraudulent charges off his credit report and he could have lost his job and security clearance due to the fraud.
Speaking after the trial, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said, “Mr. West made a career out of stealing from others, but when he threatened the career of a man serving our country, that was the last straw. I’m thankful that prosecutors Cara Fiore and Kyle Owenby vigorously prosecuted this case and that the jurors held Mr. West accountable for his actions.”
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Contact: Amy Leigh Womack