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Police Uncover Identity Theft Scheme in New Jersey, Pennsylvania

A special task force of police officers from Bergen County, New Jersey and Philadelphia recently collected sufficient evidence to charge 20 people with playing a role in a large identity fraud ring. The investigation lasted more than a year, and nine of the 20 suspects were arrested the same day the charges were issued, with the other 11 remaining at large.

The investigation began after several small business owners in Bergen County submitted complaints to police about having been victims of identity theft and fraud. After receiving a number of similar complaints, officers started looking into the activities of potential suspects in the two states.

The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office White Collar Crimes Unit jointed forces with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit/Economic Crimes Section in the effort.

In February, police made one of the first big breaks in the case, arresting a 42-year-old Hillside, New Jersey man who prosecutors say orchestrated an elaborate identify fraud scheme that enabled him to steal more than $100,000 from the bank accounts of his victims. His arrest is what led police to find the 20 co-conspirators who were just recently charged for their roles in the scheme.

What constitutes identity theft?

Identity theft is a serious type of white collar crime that generally involves an individual gaining access to another person’s bank or credit card account information, Social Security number or any other type of personally identifiable information that could be compromising in some way. In this particular case, the people involved in the fraud ring could also be subject to federal conspiracy charges.

To learn more about what you should do when facing serious criminal charges, speak with dedicated Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.

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