Georgia Pair Sentenced for Conspiracy to Use False or Counterfeit Passports

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that DANIELLE DORSETT, age 54, and her brother, BYRON J. LAFOREST, age 50, both residents of Atlanta, Georgia, were sentenced on January 19, 2023 for conspiracy to use false or counterfeit passports.

According to documents filed in federal court, beginning in November 2021, DORSETT and LAFOREST obtained counterfeit passport cards with the names and other details of victims whose personal identifying information they stole. While these cards had victims’ personal information, they had DORSETT’s or LAFOREST’s photograph. DORSETT and LAFOREST then used these cards to withdraw money from their victims’ bank accounts. Over the course of the conspiracy, DORSETT and LAFOREST used the personal information of at least six individuals to withdraw (or attempted to withdraw) funds from these individuals’ accounts. They withdrew money from bank branches in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.

The scheme drew to a close in early 2022. On January 28, 2022, DORSETT was arrested by Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies while attempting to obtain a victim’s bank statement at an IberiaBank branch in Harvey, Louisiana. DORSETT was released on bond after her arrest. Approximately two weeks later, on February 14, 2022, she and LAFOREST were arrested together at a hotel in New Orleans East by federal agents. In the hotel room, agents recovered several additional false passport cards that portrayed LAFOREST’s photograph, but provided the victims’ personal identifying information instead.

DORSETT and LAFOREST were both sentenced to time served, supervised release for a term of 3 years and an $100 mandatory special assessment fee by United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Diplomatic Security Service’s New Orleans Field Office in investigating this matter. U.S. Attorney Evans thanked the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office for the 24th Judicial District for their assistance in this prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew R. Payne is in charge of the prosecution.