A fraud case involving the theft of information on more than 2,600 Puerto Rico residents led to the indictment of 11 people in Alaska this week.
The suspects are charged with identity theft
stealing the names and Social Security numbers of their victims and using them in an attempt to obtain about $19 million in bogus tax returns between 2010 and 2012, as well as tax fraud and distribution of cocaine, according to a report from Anchorage, Alaska, television station KTUU
. In all, they face a total of 90 counts.
"In order to negotiate the tax refund checks, the defendants allegedly used false identification documents," U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler's office announced, according to the news station. "They allegedly obtained these documents by using the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of other individuals in applications made to the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles. The defendants are charged with opening numerous bank accounts in the various stolen identities." Adam Levin
, the chairman for Identity Theft 911, has a blog about the ways identity theft can affect consumers, and what they can do to increase their protection both before and after they're victimized.
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