Is The Fed More Secure? Suspect Nabbed in ID Theft Ring that Hit Bernankes
Shonya Michelle Young, a 38 year-old suspect accused of being part of a nationwide identity theft ring that successfully preyed upon unsuspecting victims, including Anna Bernanke, the wife of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, was arrested in Miami while trying to procure a fix over the phone from her heroin dealer.
Criminal charges and a U.S. Postal Service inspector's affidavit filed in June allege that Young traveled around the country to assist the ID theft ring by making 'split deposit transactions':
According to court documents filed (see below) in the ID theft case:
The split deposit transaction is a transaction where the co-conspirator first makes a deposit into one victim's account by writing a personal check to that victim account from another identity theft victim's bank account. The purpose of this deposit is to falsely inflate the victim's account balance and/or identify the specific account number. This deposit would then be followed by a series of counter withdrawals, check-cashing, or electronic withdrawals. In each case of split deposit transactions there were multiple victims...
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In each case of split deposit transactions the co-conspirators entered the financial institution's branches with counterfeit identity documents, stolen checks, and other access devices belonging to victims from the Washington, D.C area or the Chicago, Illinois area.
The postal inspector's affidavit charges that over three days in November 2008, Young engaged in split-deposit transactions scamming $10,800 from Bank of America branches in Silicon Valley:
Young allegedly went to other banks in San Jose, Berkley, and Santa Clara, California using counterfeit identification documents, and personal and bank account information previously stolen from the ID theft ring's victims, depositing counterfeit checks and money orders to carry out the scam.
According to Reuters, when the ID theft suspect was nabbed at a Miami hotel by U.S. Marshals and she couldn't answer her ringing phone, Young protested, "Why couldn't you come 30 minutes later? That was my heroin supplier."
If her dealer's number was on caller ID, the feds may ultimately get a 'twofer' from this arrest.
- Arrest made in U.S. theft ring that hit Bernankes, Reuters (Sept. 1, 2009)
- Bernanke Victimized by Identity Fraud Ring, Newsweek (Aug. 25, 2009)
- Feds Swoop In on Nationwide Pickpocket, I.D. Theft Ring, Wired (Jun. 10, 2009)
- Identity Theft Information, FindLaw