Five major credit unions, including the Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union, and hundreds of people were reportedly targeted, officials said.
Over the course of a year, the alleged leader of the “very sophisticated” operation filed over 100 credit union loan applications using the stolen identities of people with good credit across the country. officials said.
The Ring apparently found the identities of its victims from a variety of sources, including school and hospital websites, and gathered additional information about them from the Dark Web. He then created profiles with their information and managed their credit reports.
The loans, taken in amounts ranging from $ 7,500 to $ 35,000, were filed electronically under the stolen identities, using the names and social security numbers of the individuals. In many cases, a money order was used to open the loan, and once the credit union approved it, the loan money was deposited into bank accounts opened on behalf of the victims.
Officials said a suspect worked at Capital One as a banker and allegedly stole account information and sold it to other members of the network. She also opened accounts for the ring to be used under the names of the victims.
Another suspect ran a credit repair service from his Brooklyn home.
The ring is said to have managed to steal more than $ 200,000 and use it for personal expenses, including car loans, rent and plane tickets. Officials said that amount is expected to increase as they collect evidence from search warrants. So far, victims have been identified in California, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Texas and Virginia.
The scheme came to light when credit unions learned of some overdue loans and the suspects were arrested after a 6-month investigation.
Nassau County Prosecutor Madeline Singas called the case “one of the biggest identity theft cases we’ve ever investigated.”
These arrests include:
–Dacson Sears, 36, of Brooklyn, who has been charged with two counts of robbery, three counts of identity theft and fraud scheme.
– Nyantakyi Boateng, 32, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, who has been charged with two counts of robbery, identity theft and fraud scheme.
– Konstantinos Toikas, 28, of Brooklyn, who has been charged with robbery, identity theft and fraud scheme.
– Amber Mantock, 25, of Queens, who has been charged with robbery, identity theft and fraud scheme.
– Summer Aboushady, 26, of Queens, who has been charged with fraud scheme, six counts of falsifying business records and unlawfully possessing personally identifiable information.
The investigation of this case is continuing and if you believe you are a victim, please contact the Financial Crimes Bureau of the NCDA at 516-571-2149.
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