NJ suspects charged in ID fraud ring that stole $3M |
A dozen people face first-degree money-laundering charges after they allegedly
stole about $3 million from banks in an elaborate scheme involving fake
identities, bad checks and hundreds of credit cards, state acting Attorney
General John J. Hoffman said Wednesday. Many of those charged are from Secaucus
or Jersey City, and all but one have been arrested, Hoffman said. The group
allegedly created "synthetic" identities by combining real Social Security
numbers with fake names and birth dates so they could open numerous checking and
credit card accounts online. Authorities allege that through bad checks, the
accused deposited money into the accounts, which they then used to pay off
credit cards, increasing the cards' credit limits. They allegedly also withdrew
the money from ATMs and via money orders before the bad checks were discovered.
False "merchants" created shell businesses solely to participate in the scheme,
Hoffman said. Those businesses swiped the fraudulent credit cards for
nonexistent purchases, then received reimbursement from credit card processing
companies. "While the credit card holders, businesses and purchases in this
scheme were fictitious, the losses suffered by the banks were very real and
totaled an alarming $3 million," Hoffman said. The scam was active from 2012 to
2015 and involved hundreds of credit cards and millions of dollars in fake
transactions, said state Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig.
Upper East Side, NYC, NY: Husband & wife stole hospital patient info to pay for
$300,000 High-end shopping spree
A former Manhattan hospital worker and his wife are charged with stealing the
personal information of patients, and using it to fund orders for designer
merchandise at luxury retailers. The employee, 30-year old Kyle Steed and his
wife, 30-year old Krystle Steed, are named in a 193-count indictment. She
allegedly made more than $300,000 in fraudulent purchases, and attempted to make
more than $1 million in additional purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue. The two were
indicted on charges of first-degree attempted grand larceny, second-degree grand
larceny, and first-degree identity theft, among other charges. They allegedly
used stolen information to take control of victims' bank accounts, and place
fraudulent orders for hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise. In
at least one instance, a patient died at Lenox Hill Hospital only two hours
before Krystle Steed took control of the patient's bank account and began making
fraudulent charges, authorities say.
4 New Yorkers busted trying to buy iPhones with fake ID's
in Kansas City at AT&T store
Four New Yorkers, from the Bronx, are in the Johnson County Jail, charged with
stealing people's identities in order to steal cellphones. The case started
Friday and came to the attention of Overland Park's Organized Retail Crime Unit.
Two of the suspects spoke no English and needed Spanish-speaking interpreters to
explain the process. The investigation is ongoing.
Atlanta, GA: 8 sentenced for $600,000 Lenox Square Mall smash and grab Armed
Robbery at Mayor's Jewelers
Eight members of a Detroit-based traveling robbery crew were sentenced to prison
for their roles in the June 2013 smash-and-grab robbery of the Mayors Jewelry
Store in Lenox Square Mall. In June 2013, the robbery crew planned to travel
from Detroit to Atlanta to commit a "smash-and-grab" style robbery using
sledgehammers at the Mayors Jewelry Store in Atlanta. Mayors has locations in
several states that offer a wide selection of Rolex watches. The robbers' plan
was to steal the watches and return to Detroit, where they could be sold to
dishonest jewelry dealers through unreported cash transactions. The "fences"
would then sell the stolen merchandise on the black market, including to buyers
Cargo Theft: Mississauga, CN: 495 TVs, Trailer stolen from Mississauga truck lot
on Sunday; Toronto Police found the empty trailer on Tuesday
Peel Regional Police are looking into the theft of 495 LG 55-inch TVs and a
truck trailer from a commercial truck depot on Columbus Rd. in Mississauga. A
suspect or suspects - police aren't sure how many are involved - managed to
drive off with the load last Sunday. Toronto Police eventually found the empty
trailer Tuesday. It seems whoever stole the shipment brought their own truck -
Peel Regional Police say it appears none of the lot's trucks were missing after
the thefts. The TVs are worth a total of $375,000.
Boca Raton, FL: Macy's supervisor at Boca mall arrested in $30,000 fraud case
A supervisor at the Macy's store in Boca Raton faces 34 counts of fraud after
being accused of defrauding the store of more than $30,000. Police arrested
Lloyd Watson II, 30, at the store Tuesday. Investigators said that between June
22 and Dec. 3, Watson made 19 refunds and 14 price adjustments for
"non-existent" purchases. The transactions added up to $30,450.33.
Loss-prevention staff at the store at the Town Center mall, said an internal
investigation revealed Watson had asked a co-worker to make a return, which went
to his credit card. That credit card belonged to an "import-export" company
partly owned by Watson.
Genoa Twp, MI: Kohl' shoplifter pleads Guilty to $1,000 Organized Retail Theft
Marcus Lowell Hunter, 47, pleaded guilty Wednesday as charged to organized
retail crime, first-degree retail fraud, and fleeing and eluding. Police said a
deputy responding to a retail fraud complaint at Kohl's in October spotted
Hunter loading an estimated $1,000 or more in electronic merchandise into a Ford
Taurus. As the deputy tried to make contact with Hunter, he fled on Interstate
96 at speeds exceeding 100 mph. Hunter managed to elude immediate capture.
Batavia, IL: Police searching for 2 suspects in ORC theft
of nearly $1,000 in cosmetics
At about 9:25 p.m. Dec 1, one male and one female entered the Walgreens at 1918
W. Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, police said. Video surveillance shows the two
people concealing between $500 to $1,000 worth of cosmetics in a purse and
leaving the store without paying for the items, Batavia Detective Kevin Bretz
said. "They were in the store for about three minutes," Bretz said Wednesday.
Lee's Summit, MO: Task force successful in taking down shoplifters
Lee's Summit Police is happy with how their newest task force is combating
shoplifting in the area's most attractive shopping centers. Stemming from their
Crime Reduction Team, Sargent Chris Depue says the unit is a Swiss Army Knife
for the department. Currently operating at shopping districts through the New
Year, their main objective since thanksgiving has been detecting and arresting
shoplifters. So far they've made at least 40 arrests in areas such as Summit
Fair and Summit Woods Crossing.
Cadillac, MI: Missouri woman charged with organized retail crime
Stephanie Lee Long, 30, of St. Charles, MO was charged in 84th District Court in
Wexford County for her alleged connection with an organized retail crime
incident on April 4 in Haring Township.