ARRESTS OF SEVEN DEFENDANTS FOR PARTICIPATING IN IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME THAT TARGETED OVER 180 CUSTOMER ACCOUNTS AT LARGE NYC RETAIL STORES

January 13 2012

More Than $1 Million in Merchandise, Gift Cards, and Store Credits Fraudulently Obtained

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York State Attorney General, and James T. Hayes, Jr., the
Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (“ICE”) Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced charges today against seven members of an identity theft ring that allegedly used stolen identities of over 180 people with active store credit accounts at Home Depot, Sears, Kmart, Kohl’s, and other retail stores to charge merchandise and gift cards to their accounts and to obtain store credits. They then resold the merchandise and gift cards for a profit. As part of the scheme, members of the ring allegedly manufactured driver’s licenses using the stolen identity information to facilitate their impersonations of the legitimate cardholders at the stores.

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