Identity Theft News


News Archive


Contact Information

Center for Identity Management
and Information Protection
Dr. Donald Rebovich,
Executive Director
Utica College
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502

January 2013 News Archive

January 18, 2013

Alabama Residents Indicted Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Conspiracy

Mary and Christian Young and Octavious Reeves were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama on a variety of charges stemming from an identity theft and tax fraud conspiracy, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The alleged conspirators were charged in a 31-count indictment that was returned on Dec. 18, 2012, and unsealed today. full article

Female suspect seeking identity theft victims in Santa Clarita

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- A woman is looking for potential victims who closely resemble her, so she can steal their driver's licenses and much more. full article

DJJ breach could lead to ID theft

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice announced a security breach following the theft of a mobile device that was stolen from a secure DJJ office on Jan. 2. full article

Former Fugitive CPA Pleads Guilty in Identity Theft Tax Case

A former CPA and tax preparer who spent three years on the run as a fugitive in Pakistan has pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in a tax refund conspiracy after he was accused of using the names and Social Security numbers of dead people to submit false claims for income tax refunds. full article

US authorities jail illegal Jamaican immigrant for identity theft

TAMPA, United States, Thursday January 17, 2013 – United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reported that an illegal Jamaican immigrant has been jailed for identity theft. full article

Dyersburg resident recounts ID theft ordeal

The Federal Trade Commission reported in February 2012 that approximately 1.8 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2011. Identity theft and similar scams cost Americans an estimated $1.5 billion in 2011. Figures for 2012 have not been released yet but are expected to be higher as they have been over the last five years. full article

January 17, 2013

Cordele, Georgia, Resident Indicted for Using Stolen Identities on False Tax Returns

A federal grand jury in Macon, Ga., returned an indictment charging Kimberly Michelle Banks, a resident of Cordele, Ga., with crimes involving the use of stolen identities on false federal income tax returns in order to obtain refunds to which Banks was not entitled. full article

Man wanted for $30,000 ID theft in West Goshen

WEST GOSHEN TWP., Pa. - January 17, 2013 (WPVI) -- West Goshen Township Police are looking for an identity theft suspect who they say bought $30,000 worth of merchandise by opening credit accounts under another man's name. full article

W.Va. woman sentenced for child’s identity theft

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A former middle school teacher in Martinsburg has been sentenced to five years in prison for using one of her children’s Social Security numbers to obtain credit accounts that she couldn’t pay back. full article

ID theft ringleader sentenced to 20 years in prison

"I am sorry for what I did,” said Pyong "Peter" Pak, 42, testifying at his sentencing hearing in Circuit Court. What Pak did according to prosecutors, was mastermind a widespread identity theft ring. full article

Camarillo man arrested on suspicion of operating identity theft ring

A 45-year-old Camarillo man was arrested this week on suspicion of running an identity theft ring, Ventura County sheriff's officials said Wednesday. full article

ID theft webinar outlines red flags to watch for on accounts

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – South Carolina residents like Heather Popovich were notified by letter that their personal information was hacked. full article

January 16, 2013

California Tax Return Preparer Pleads Guilty to Tax Refund Conspiracy

Masood Chotani, a CPA and tax return preparer from Los Angeles County, Calif., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. On June 23, 2010, Chotani was indicted by a federal grand jury in Riverside, Calif., on charges of engaging in a scheme to file false returns with the IRS using the names and Social Security numbers of deceased individuals. full article

Ex-teacher pleads guilty to identity theft

MARTINSBURG - A former Spring Mills Middle School teacher was sentenced Monday to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing her daughter's identity. full article

APD to charge man for ID?theft

At least two area businesses have made claims against an Andalusia man who was arrested for allegedly using false identities to steal an estimated $100,000 in Birmingham, police said Tuesday. full article

Klemme woman charged with identity theft

KLEMME — A co-owner of a Klemme business has been charged with identity theft. Tina Marie Badker, 41, one of the owners of the Shamrock Restaurant and Lounge, faces one count of identity theft, a Class D felony. full article

Suspects wanted for identity theft in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs police are investigating a case of identity theft. Police say it happened December 23. The victim noticed his car window had been broken into after service at the Beth El Mennonite Church on Ranch Drive. full article

Revenue Dept. to Hold Free Identity Theft Webinars

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Department of Revenue is offering free identity theft webinars. full article

January 15, 2013

Former Texas Department of Health Employee Charged with Identity Theft

Over the past few years, the image of the US Health Department has often been stained because of fraud-related crimes committed by the organization’s employees. Now, law enforcement authorities have identified another fraud case. full article

60% of UK Office Workers Receive Phishing Emails Every Day, Study Finds

A study commissioned by PhishMe, an organization that specializes in offering anti-phishing training, shows that almost 60% of the office workers in the United Kingdom receive phishing emails every single day. full article

Sex Offenders Can Keep Screen Names Secret

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - California's human-trafficking law imposes unconstitutional penalties on convicted sex offenders, a federal judge ruled, entering a preliminary injunction. "Plaintiffs enjoy no lesser right to anonymous speech simply because they are unpopular, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson wrote. full article

ADP-Themed Phishing Emails Lead to Blackhole Sites

Scammers are spamming out malicious emails purporting to come from payroll processing company ADP, according Dancho Danchev of Webroot. full article

Mount Vernon And Bronx Residents Charged With Identity Theft

Bronx and Westchester residents charged by Clarkstown Police with identity theft, possession of stolen property, fraudulent credit cards and grand larceny

Clarkstown Police arrested Komi Kalefe, 22, of the Bronx and Gary Taylor, 26, of Mount Vernon on Monday night on a variety of felony charges including identity theft. full article

January 14, 2013

Sheriffs: Westmoreland woman is victim of identity theft

WESTMORELAND, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Westmoreland woman was the victim of identity theft according to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office. full article

Suspects Sought in Identity Theft Ring

The pair is suspected of victimizing dozens of people in Santa Cruz County, including an 82-year-old woman

Santa Cruz County sheriff’s investigators are searching for two suspects in connection with an identity-theft ring. Hernan Coto, 33, and Jesse Jurado, 32, have been linked to an identity theft ring that has victimized dozens of people in Santa Cruz County, including an 82-year-old woman whose credit cards were stolen during a burglary, according to Deputy April Skalland. full article

Men plead guilty to identity theft crimes that included Ventura County victims

Two members of a crime ring that used cameras in ATM locations to steal debit card PINs pleaded guilty Friday to identity theft-related crimes. full article

Officials Warn of Increasing Cases of Identity Theft

JACKSON, Tenn. - Officials warn residents that identity theft cases have increased, impacting countless victims across Tennessee. full article

Grand Junction Police Investigating ID Theft Cases

GRAND JUNCTION, Tenn. - Police are investigating several identity theft cases here in West Tennessee. full article

Montgomery man pleads guilty to identity theft, fraud charges

Yet another Montgomery resident has pleaded guilty to identity theft and tax fraud charges, the Justice Department announced today. full article

Houston radio DJ arrested on charges of identity theft

Officials say he allegedly stole identity of dozens of KTSU donors

HOUSTON - A volunteer radio disc jockey was charged with identity theft after police said he stole the identity of dozens of donors. full article

Thieves steal thousands of South Floridians' IDs to file fake tax refunds

The couple arrived at Morton's Steakhouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale ready to do business. The product they were selling: a flash drive with 700,000 stolen identifications that could be used to file fraudulent tax returns and rake in millions of dollars, according to federal documents. full article

Albany woman testifies about identity theft crimes

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany woman, already convicted of embezzling government money, testified Thursday against two men on trial now for stealing hundreds of tax refund checks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. full article

Officers from three agencies arrest four in Poulsbo for drugs, identity theft

POULSBO – Officers from three agencies, including the U.S. Treasury Department, arrested four people for narcotics sales, trafficking in stolen property and identity theft Jan. 7 at a home in the 25000 block of Pioneer Way NW, Poulsbo. full article

January 11, 2013

Utica College Prepares Students to Fight Cyber Threats

A recent report released by McAfee Labs warns that hackers may attack dozens of banks in the United States early next year. This real and accelerating threat underscores the need for all types of organizations to be ready for such cybersecurity challenges. Utica College is preparing students for the front lines of the war against these kinds of attacks through its online undergraduate and graduate degree programs in cybersecurity. Utica faculty members say the time for organizations to act is now. The attack referenced by McAfee Labs has been in the works since 2008 and has already resulted in losses of $5 million and 300 to 500 victims in the U.S. “Many organizations don't have the right technology in place to realize they are fully penetrated and exfiltrating data,” says Jeff Bardin, a lecturer at Utica who teaches courses including Cyber Intelligence and Counter Intelligence and Cyber Terrorism and has over 25 years of experience in the field. “On the other hand, many organizations have been implementing new technologies, new procedures and sharing hacking and malware indicators that help identify and remediate malicious attacks." full article

January 10, 2013

Pair indicted for identity theft involving tax refunds

Identity theft – which costs the Internal Revenue Service an estimated $5 billion a year in illegal tax refunds – is at the heart of the first criminal case filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus this year. full article

Damaging Identity Theft

Jesse Sanchez of San Benito said he just wants his life back to normal. He said he lost his wallet when he was just 17-years-old, and it ended up in the wrong hands. full article

Man sentenced up to 7 years for identity theft

Nearly $12K illegally withdrawn in Carroll Valley man's name.

A man arrested in Georgia, while carrying a driver's license and credit card bearing a Carroll Valley man's name, will spend at least three years in prison for stealing nearly $12,000 through identity theft. full article

Valley police search for identity theft suspect

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -- Spokane Valley detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify an identity theft suspect. full article

Identity Theft Victims Receive Gifts from Debit Card Thief

Susie and Chris Linford of Anchorage, Alaska, became the victims of identity theft when their debit card number was stolen a few weeks ago. They were contacted by their credit union, which informed them that their identity theft protection had kicked in and they would not be responsible for the fraudulent $5,000 online shopping spree the thief had gone on. In fact, their money was returned, and they were issued a new account number. Then they filed a police report and figured the nightmare was over. But while the Linford's story seemed to be a run-of-the-mill identity theft case, it does not end there. The next day, packages they had not ordered began arriving at their home. full article

Identify Theft Suspect Ordered to Jail, Probation

Tyrone Todd, 54, will spend a year in the Oakland County Jail, records show

A man arrested at a Bloomfield Township bank while attempting to cash a fraudulent check created with a stolen identity was recently sentenced to jail. full article

3 identity-theft suspects arrested in Phoenix

hree people were arrested Monday on suspicion of identity theft after they were suspected of stealing from mailboxes, according to the Phoenix Police Department. full article

January 9, 2013

Feds step up HIPAA enforcement with hospice settlement

A Hayden, Idaho-based hospice is the first health care organization to be fined for sustaining a breach that affected fewer than 500 individuals. full article

Tulsan Pleads Guilty in Mail-theft, ID-theft Case

A Tulsa woman pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to possessing stolen mail, admitting in a court document that she illegally opened mailboxes at several Tulsa apartment complexes in order to steal their contents. full article

2 Accused Of ID Theft To Obtain Tax Refunds

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two Central Ohioans are facing charges, accused of stealing identities to get tax refunds. A federal grand jury indicted Jose Luis Martinez, 46, of Columbus, and Mercedes Emelinda-Silie, 40, of Grove City, charging them both with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government by obtaining and negotiating U.S. Treasury checks representing purported tax refunds; 39 counts of converting U.S. monies to their own use; one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses; one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business; and eight counts of identity theft. full article

Police: Woman used sister's identity in theft

BEAVER — Charges against one woman were dropped and new charges filed against her sister after police said she gave authorities her sister’s name when she was arrested. full article

Jal Accountant Arraigned on Federal Fraud and Identity Theft Charges

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning, Roger L Baeza, 31, of Jal, New Mexico, was arraigned on an 81-count indictment charging him with 78 counts of securities fraud, one count of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Baeza entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during his arraignment hearing. United States Attorney Kenneth J Gonzales said that Baeza is charged with defrauding two Jal-based businesses, Lea Energy Services LLC and Fulfer Oil & Cattle Company LCC, of approximately $572,000 between June 2010 and February 2012. During that period, Baeza was employed as the in-house accountant by the owners of the two businesses. full article

Facebook argues to protect user content in Portland murder case

Facebook attorneys appeared in a Portland courtroom this week to fight what is becoming an increasingly common demand across the country: Turn over user content that lawyers say they need to defend clients accused of murder, robbery and other crimes. full article

January 8, 2013

Georgia Woman Indicted for Stealing Identities to Obtain Tax Refunds

A federal grand jury in Montgomery, Ala., returned a superseding indictment charging Deatrice Smith Williams and Quentin Collick for their roles in a stolen identity refund fraud conspiracy, Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama George L. Beck Jr. and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. The 13 count indictment charges Williams and Collick with conspiracy to file false claims, theft of public funds, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. full article

Former state HHS employee charged with identity theft; Hundreds may be impacted

During the first week of the new year, the Titus County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) received multiple complaints from citizens regarding identity theft. full article

The IRS offers PINs for identity theft victims

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Jessica Douglas, has been a tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt since 2006, according to her, Internal Revenue Service fraud is a crime she sees all too often. full article

Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, Undocumented Immigrant, Pleads Guilty To Stealing Candida Gutierrez's Identity

WICHITA, Kan. -- An undocumented immigrant accused of assuming the persona of a Texas teacher pleaded guilty Monday in a case that put a face on the growing crime of "total identity theft" in the United States. full article

Lower Paxton Police assisting police in Kentucky and Ohio for identity theft and access device fraud

Lower Paxton Township Police are working with authorities in Kentucky and Ohio attempting to identify a suspect in an identity theft and access device fraud. full article

Everett police bust massive ID theft ring

EVERETT, Wash. -- Using hotels as hubs for a crime network has a big catch -- the paper trail. full article

Syracuse gym owner charged with identity theft

SYRACUSE -- The owner of a Syracuse gym is accused of identity theft. 32-year-old Justin Edmond, the owner of "Just in Shape" gym, is charged with forgery and identity theft. full article

January 4, 2013

Colorado Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS out of $1.8 Million Dollars

Thomas William Quintin, 65, formerly of Denver, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims, and one count of misuse of a Social Security number (SSN), before U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson, the U.S. Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Quintin is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Jackson on April 2, 2013. full article

Over 3,000 Confidential Documents Stolen by Hackers from Japan’s Agriculture Ministry

Foreign hackers might have stolen over 3,000 confidential documents – including ones on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade pact – from Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry after infecting the ministry’s systems with a piece of malware. full article

Sites of Capital One, HSBC, Fifth Third Bank, Ally Financial Disrupted by DDOS Attacks

Another series of bank websites have been disrupted by distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks launched by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, as part of the fourth week of Operation Ababil 2. full article

Popular office phones vulnerable to eavesdropping hack, researchers say

High-tech telephones common on many workplace desks in the U.S. can be hacked and turned into eavesdropping devices, researchers at Columbia University have discovered. full article

January 3, 2013

Woodburn Bookkeeper Arrested For Identity Theft

A 37-year old bookkeeper from Woodburn has been arrested and cited for multiple counts of identity theft and computer crimes after deputies completed a 3-month investigation into money missing from her employer. full article

Porn troll facing ID theft charges wants judge off case

Prenda Law says the judge is biased against copyright trolls

Prenda Law, a copyright litigation firm that has sued thousands of anonymous Internet users for sharing pornographic videos, has sought the dismissal of a California judge after the judge ordered the firm to answer charges that it engaged in identity theft. Prenda charges that the judge, Otis Wright, is biased against pornographic copyright holders seeking to enforce their rights. full article

Bans on Employer Demands for Personal Passwords Go Into Effect

In spring of last year, reports began surfacing that some employers were demanding that current and sometimes prospective employees hand over the log-in credentials or otherwise provide access to their various social media accounts. People were outraged. Such invasions of what many perceive as their personal, albeit, online privacy prompted much debating and the writing of a never-ending slew opinion pieces. full article

World Wildlife Foundation China Hacked, Details of 80,000 Users Leaked

A hacker collective called DarkWeb Goons, recently founded by a former member of the Grey Security group, has breached the official website of World Wildlife Foundation China ( full article

January 2, 2013

Man Accused of 16 Counts of ID Theft

A 23-year-old Racine man is accused of stealing credit cards from his mother and another woman, then using them at area businesses. full article

Pair arrested and charged with identity theft

Two Salem residents were arrested for ID theft and other charges at a Howard Johnson motel, 2250 Mission St. SE, about 4 p.m. Friday, Salem police said. full article

Pueblo authorities look for identity theft suspects

Pueblo Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's assistance identifying suspects of an identity theft. full article

Hollywood man convicted in identity theft scheme

A Hollywood man was convicted in an identity theft scheme with fraud totaling $117,000 in victims' tax refunds, the U.S. State Attorney's Office announced Friday. full article

SSNs, Salary Information Exposed In Breach Of Army Servers

'Unknown' attackers access databases of information on 36,000 people

Army officials have confirmed that cybercriminals obtained personal information of 36,000 people from multiple Army commands and visitors to the former Fort Monmouth base via a server hack. full article

Identity theft can happen where you're most vulnerable: In the hospital

Identity thieves may be lurking in places you'd never expect to find them. full article