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Posted on: May 10, 2012

Serial Identity Thief Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

PHOENIX, AZ (May 10, 2012) – A long history of fraud, forgery and theft finally caught up with Gerald Calmese (D.O.B. 1/7/67) when Judge Daniel G. Martin sentenced him to serve a term of 30 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for stealing and fraudulently using credit cards he obtained from women he dated. In addition to six consecutive 5-year terms for credit card theft, Calmese will serve a concurrent 20-year sentence for fraudulent schemes and artifices and a concurrent 15-year sentence for aggravated identity theft.

“This defendant left a trail of broken hearts and bad credit, but his journey ultimately took him to prison,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Identity theft can strike just about anyone, which is why it is important to be vigilant about protecting your identifying information and to remember the adage: In love, give thy heart but not thy personal financial information away,” he added.

Calmese’s criminal history dates from 1985 and contains at least seven prior felony convictions, including forgery, theft, burglary and criminal trespass, and four separate prison sentences in two states. He also has eleven misdemeanor convictions, including four assaults, and at least fourteen known aliases.

Between February 1, 2009 and November 16, 2010, Calmese dated multiple women and stole their credit cards when they were not paying attention. He then used the cards to make unauthorized charges such as paying his own phone bill, buying liquor and renting movies. When police searched his home, they discovered additional victims’ personal identifying information, including a handwritten credit card number.

Calmese was originally charged with two different credit card thefts, but was subsequently re-indicted when police discovered additional victims. After a five day trial in January, 2012, a jury convicted Calmese on all but one of the counts, which was dismissed. Under Arizona’s Truth-in-Sentencing statutes, and with credit for time served, Calmese will not be eligible for early release before 2036.

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