An Austin man was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison for stealing mail and identification information from hundreds of people, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
David Akharume Afenkena, 55, was sentenced Thursday morning and also ordered to pay $50,961.15 in restitution to the victims. He will also be placed on supervised release for three years after his prison sentence, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The release said that Afenkena pleaded guilty to using a United States Postal Service "arrow key," or master key, to open mailboxes at various apartment complexes in the Austin area and steal their contents. Afenkena told authorities he would then change the victims' mailing addresses to mailboxes he had access to and use their information to open up credit cards and bank accounts.
Afenkena also told authorities that he used the victims' personal information to file fraudulent tax returns so he could receive refund checks in the mail.
"Identity theft is a contemptible modern-day scourge," said Special Agent in Charge William J. Cotter, IRSCriminal Investigation, San Antonio Field Office. "Law enforcement officers respond to it with every legal resource available. Let this sentencing serve as a warning to those who are considering similar conduct."