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Woman from “Lockup” TV Show Sentenced for Identity Theft in Bergen County

lockupA woman with a lengthy criminal history who appeared on MSNBC’s television show “Lockup,” was recently sentenced in Bergen County Superior Court in connection with an identity theft case involving over $100,000 in merchandise.

According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, 33-year-old Paterson resident Shontera Jennings was arrested following an investigation conducted by Bergen County law enforcement officials known as “Operation Unauthorized User.” She was identified as the leader of a sophisticated identity theft operation that employed fraudulent credit cards to purchase and subsequently sell merchandise valued at over $150,000. The merchandise was reportedly purchased at a variety of stores in Bergen County, such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

In order to obtain the victims’ personal information, Jennings allegedly purchased it from 49-year-old Kyle Davis, an employee with a mortgage company in Paterson. Davis is also facing charges as a result of the investigation and was released pending his court date after posting bail in the amount of $100,000.

Jennings’ criminal record includes over 42 juvenile arrests as well as an adult history of charges originating over 10 years ago, which include aggravated assault on a police officer. She also appeared on the show “Lockup,” which was filmed at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack.

With regard to this case, Jennings was initially scheduled to be sentenced on March 7th, following her guilty plea to impersonation/theft of identity charges. However, she failed to appear on this date and did not surrender herself until Wednesday, April 16th. At her sentencing hearing on Monday, April 21st, Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian sentenced Jennings to a 6-year term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison, with a 2-year period of parole ineligibility.

In New Jersey, Impersonation/Theft of Identity charges are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17. According to this statute, offenses of this kind involving $75,000 or more, or five or more victims, are classified as second degree crimes. These offenses are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. Since Jennings’ case met both of the aforementioned specifications, she could have been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges at trial.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Ex-con from TV’s ‘Lockup’ gets six years for buying department store goods with stolen IDs

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