We might picture a vast criminal enterprise when we hear about an identity theft ring in the news. But just a few organized individuals can work together to cause thousands of dollars of damage to hundreds of victims, as these cases of smaller ID theft rings can attest.
Alleged Theft Ring Hits Health Insurance Company
Federal prosecutors say a ring led by an employee of a major health insurance company stole personal information from more than 5,000 subscribers, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Angela Patton allegedly printed screenshots of subscribers' data while she was working for the health insurance company in Michigan and gave them to others who opened credit cards and racked up more than $742,000 in bogus charges.
Alleged ID thieves in Texas, Ohio and Michigan were arrested while in possession of screenshots from Patton's work computer along with fake IDs and credit cards in the names of the victims. Along with 11 others, Patton was indicted on many charges related to identity theft.
Woman Faces 30 Years for ID Theft
An Illinois woman pleaded guilty to her role in an identity theft ring responsible for up to $400,000 in stolen funds, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Angela Young says she used her job at a medical office to steal client information and hand it over to Alexis Young, her half-sister and a co-defendant in the case. Then, Alexis Young and other co-defendants Cynthia Mullins and Montrease Young would allegedly use the information to open new credit cards and bank accounts.
Angela Young faces up to 30 years in prison. As part of her plea deal, Young admitted she was a leader in the conspiracy. Federal attorneys may file a motion to help lower her sentence in return for her cooperation. The other defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty and await trial.
Accused ID Thieves Also Charged in Drug Case
Suspects in Houston have been arrested for allegedly operating an identity theft ring that affected about 200 victims, KHOU reports.
Crystal Ballinger, Kenneth Grimet, Cody Ligori and Tina Harrington are accused of obtaining Social Security numbers by snatching purses and breaking into hotel offices to steal employee applications. Investigators believe there are more identity theft victims that have yet to be found.
In a separate case, Ballinger, Grimet and Ligori have been charged with possession and intent to deliver methamphetamine. This alleged meth ring was discovered when authorities investigated the source of drugs found in the car of a woman involved in a collision that killed a deputy.
Eight Charged in Denver-Area Identity Thefts
Eight people in the Denver area have been indicted on 81 counts of identity theft and forgery, according to 9 News.
Quinetta Hunter, Tasha Phillips, Ernest Daniels, Matrice Ford, Shaqweila Phillips, Tony Phillips, Tashena Reid and Destinee Sequra all face multiple felony counts related to their alleged identity theft ring.
Police say the group stole checks from mailboxes and passed forged and counterfeit checks in a scheme that hit 35 ID theft victims for a total of $49,000 in losses — and another $11,000 in attempted theft.