From simple smash-and-grab burglaries to an international cybercrime conspiracy, authorities are working hard to foil identity theft rings that are affecting victims around the country.
Macedonian Suspected in Worldwide ID Theft Ring Faces 40 years
A Macedonian man suspected to be part of a worldwide identity theft organization faces up to 40 years in prison for conspiracy and racketeering, according to Yahoo News.
Jordan Georgievski allegedly sold counterfeit credit cards as part of an international identity-theft organization known as Carder.su. Georgievski was taken into custody in Albania then extradited to the United States.
Georgievski pleaded not guilty, telling the judge he's a teacher working on a master's degree.
Prosecutors say 30 of 55 people indicted in relation to the Carder.su case so far have been convicted, with others either facing trial or staying on the run from authorities.
Georgievski is accused of selling counterfeit credit cards as part of a cybercrime identity theft organization that authorities say caused $50 million in financial losses worldwide.
Teen Ring Leaders Sentenced to Prison
Two brothers who ran an ID theft ring in their teens have been sentenced to prison, the Miami New Times reports.
Stanley and Steven Fertil, now 20 and 19 years old, received nine and 12 years in prison respectively for crimes related to the identity theft ring they started two years ago.
Authorities linked the Fertils to the theft of more than 600 identities used to file insurance claims. Investigators say there was also evidence the brothers took money directly from victims' bank accounts.
In addition to prison time, the brothers must also pay back $815,700.
Tax Scheme Mastermind Convicted in $700K Case
An Alabama man was found guilty of organizing a stolen-ID tax fraud ring that netted more than $700,000, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
Tarrish Tellis and co-conspirator Nakia Jackson obtained about 700 identities from an employee of the Alabama Medicaid State Agency and used them to file bogus tax refunds.
Authorities say Tellis hid the origin of the funds by using friends and relatives to open bank accounts to receive the fraudulent refunds and recruited a bank teller to open fictitious accounts. Additionally, Tellis filed numerous tax returns using an open wireless router to make it appear that the owner of a residence had filed them.
Tellis faces a minimum two-year sentence and a maximum sentence of 125 years in prison, plus fines and restitution. Jackson was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.
Houston Police Crack Down on Luxury-Goods ID Theft Ring
A group of Texas men are accused of using other people's identities to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of luxury cars and opening lines of credit to buy breast implants, according to Click2Houston.com.
Joel Cruz, Darion Wells, Devante Ruffin and Jamonte Booker were arrested and charged with fraud and identity theft. Police say the group used seven identities at eight dealerships to buy cars for a total of $485,136.
The suspects allegedly obtained identities from apartment leasing records they stole from a storage facility.
Smash-and-Grab Burglaries Possibly Linked to ID Theft Ring
Five Florida residents have been arrested in Louisiana for their alleged role in an identity theft ring after a high-speed chase, according to NOLA.com.
Officials say the five broke into vehicles and stole drivers licenses, credit cards and checkbooks as part of a larger ID theft ring. Sheriff's Office deputies arrested the suspects after a high-speed chase that ended when the suspects' car crashed into a fence.
Talena Stanford, Nosayaba Okunseri, Travis Ward, Markeivis Walker and Shadarryl Lawrence were booked for possession of stolen property and identity-theft-related charges.
Authorities believe the suspects are tied to three men who were arrested for similar burglaries in another area and an unidentified woman wanted for cashing stolen checks.