A bounty hunter from Johnstown, Colorado, who obtained confidential phone records from four American Telecommunications Company by posing as a police officer, was sentenced on Friday to 15 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.
Matthew Marre, 30, was found guilty of fraudulently acquiring confidential information from four major American cellular service providers—Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T under the guise of being a law enforcement officer.
"Those who impersonate peace officers for their own private gain will be held accountable for their actions," said US Attorney Jason Dunn, in a statement.
The Fake Cop routine
According to stipulated facts from his plea agreement, Marre was a fugitive recovery agent, or what is more commonly known as a bounty hunter, across Colorado. Posing as a law enforcement officer with Colorado Public Safety Task Force, who was working on suicidal subjects under pressing circumstances, he contacted the aforementioned companies.
In order to appear as a legitimate cop, Marre used an email address that looked like an official law enforcement email. He also presented fake documents to substantiate his claim. The bounty hunter requested cell phone GPS location information of 'suicidal' individuals. It turned out that the information he sought was used to track bounties. He successfully managed to con some of America's biggest telecoms multiple times.
According to the police, Marre is believed to have conned Verizon, Sprint, and T-mobile at least 16 times since the beginning of 2018 and unlawfully acquired phone records. Only AT&T did not provide any information as none of Marre's targets were users of their service.
However, Marre's deception was exposed when attempts made by the companies to verify his law enforcement credentials failed. Becoming suspicious of his requests for emergency assistance, the phone companies contacted the FBI.
Arrest and sentence
Marre's run came to an end when he was arrested by agents from FBI's Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force. In April 2019, he was indicted and charged with eight counts of fraudulently obtaining confidential phone records information from cellular service companies. Friday's sentence comes with a prison term of 15 months followed by three years of supervised release.
Stressing on the seriousness of Marre's offence, Dean Phillips, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said, "Gaining access to private information without a legitimate law enforcement purpose, especially alleging a threat to life, undermines the lawful processes in place which allow us to investigate crime."