Three men involved in a gift card scheme have been sentenced to serve two years in federal prison.
Tristin Deon Hamilton, Larry Donil Conley and Johnny Bill Jr. appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice.
Prosecutors said last July 13, the trio entered Walmarts at Kimball and Manchester and a CVS Pharmacy in Monteagle. They said the group purchased Walmart-issued gift cards with debit cards that had been encoded with account numbers belonging to other people.
The scheme involved withdrawing funds from the banks of others and obtaining the gift cards, it was stated.
Judge Mattice said he expects that federal penalties for identity theft will be stiffened.
He said, "Identity theft in this country is a huge problem. You hear it on the TV every night. It would not surprise me if the penalties will become more harsh."