Detroit man sentenced for using stolen identities to receive government cell phones he would sell

A Detroit man will spend time in prison after using stolen identities to receive government cell phones that he would then sell.

Dewan Williams, 47, was sentenced Friday to 2-20 years in prison for conducting a criminal enterprise and identity theft. He must also pay restitution. Williams returns to court June 29 for an adjourned sentencing date.

An investigation started after multiple people said that their identities were being used to fraudulently apply for government aid without their approval.

Authorities said Williams used fraudulently approved Medicaid benefits to qualify for the phones. Around 150 new and pre-packaged Safelink Wireless phones were recovered from Williams’ home along with personal information stolen from approximately 7,000 identity theft victims.

"It is imperative that individuals have their personal information protected, and it is especially egregious when bad actors use that information to defraud government programs," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. "My office will always remain committed to defending Michiganders and ensuring our state agencies work together to protect residents from these fraudulent practices."