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Identity Theft

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NEWS
November 15, 2008 | Inquirer staff
A federal judge has sentenced a 36-year-old Philadelphia man to 212 months - nearly 18 years - in prison for his part in a multistate bank-fraud and identity-theft ring that targeted bank customers between February 2004 and November 2005. The total loss from the schemes exceeded $400,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. During a sentencing hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick also ordered Akintunde Crawford, a three-time convicted felon, to pay $109,552 in restitution and a $1,000 special assessment, and sentenced him to five years' supervised release upon completion of the prison sentence.
NEWS
September 10, 2008 | By Vernon Clark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Philadelphia woman was sentenced yesterday to three to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a $15,000 civil penalty for using stolen identities to buy two cars and acquire insurance for them. Shakira Bastone, 35, had pleaded guilty in July to 12 counts of identity theft, 10 counts of insurance fraud, three counts of forgery and related offenses. Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Engel Temin issued the sentence. Assistant District Attorney Charles Gallagher said Bastone, of Cliveden Street in Mount Airy, used the identities of a person boarding a cruise ship in Philadelphia and another whose wallet had been stolen in Atlanta.
NEWS
June 5, 2008 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In an unexpected move, federal prosecutors said last night that they would ask a judge to revoke bail today and detain Jocelyn S. Kirsch, the former Drexel University student accused in an audacious identity-theft scam. Kirsch, 22, the sometimes-violet-eyed beauty who captivated an international audience once tantalizing photos of her on vacation hit the Internet, had been scheduled to plead guilty this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. But last night, the U.S. Attorney's Office said that the plea hearing would be rescheduled and that a detention hearing would be held instead.
NEWS
November 13, 2002 | By Larry Lewis INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia homicide detectives searched the house at 2523 S. Robinson St. two years ago looking for a murder suspect. Instead, they found an identity-theft laboratory - complete with credit-card embossers, phony checks, and fake driver's licenses - in one of the bedrooms. "You can't just call up and order a credit-card embosser," Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Pease said yesterday. "This is equipment that's supposed to be in financial institutions - in banks. " He spoke just hours after federal agents arrested Rodney Rutherford, 31, at his home in the 300 block of Berbro Street in Darby Borough and charged him with owning and using the exotic equipment.
NEWS
April 4, 2004 | By Robert F. O'Neill INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Seniors who do not own personal computers are lucky, at least in one respect. They won't be prey to Internet identity theft, which victimizes millions of Americans online each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. But wait! If you've prepared your own income taxes recently, you may still be at risk for identity theft if you trashed papers and bank statements containing important personal information such as Social Security numbers. Michael Bannon, director of the Bucks County Consumer Protection Bureau, said identity thieves would just as soon Dumpster dive or loot your mailbox as dupe you into providing Social Security and credit-card numbers via e-mail.
NEWS
August 3, 2010
A former bank employee was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for stealing the account information of at least seven customers and providing it to members of an identity-theft ring, authorities said. Regina Tolliver, 39, of Philadelphia, worked at the King of Prussia branch of Citizens Bank. Between February and November 2007, Tolliver gathered customers' personal information, which was used to create fake driver's licenses. "Check runners" then posed as the customers and cashed fraudulent checks made out to the victims of the identity theft.
NEWS
August 2, 2010 | By Sam Wood, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A former bank employee was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for stealing the account information of at least seven customers and providing it to members of an identity theft ring, authorities said. Regina Tolliver, 39, of Philadelphia, worked at the King of Prussia branch of Citizens Bank. Between February and November 2007 Tolliver gathered customers' personal information which was used to create fake drive's licenses. "Check runners" then posed as the customers and cashed fraudulent checks made out to the victims of the identity theft.
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
PITTSBURGH - At least 29 employees of the city of Pittsburgh have had their identities stolen, police said Monday. Police sent an e-mail to city officials over the weekend, which indicated that the victims were in multiple departments. Employees received bills from PayPal for purchases they didn't make, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Detective Christopher Jordan of the Pittsburgh Police Computer Crimes Unit said the thief or thieves set up account numbers using employees' names, addresses and at least partial Social Security numbers.
NEWS
January 23, 2013
IDENTITY THEFT IS a crime that's easy to dismiss. Until it happens to you. Just imagine: You've filed your tax return and are eagerly awaiting your refund. It's money you desperately need to pay some bills or buy whatever you've been hankering for. But then you get a notice from the IRS saying that your return has been rejected. You won't be getting a refund because it already has been claimed. You've become a victim of identity theft. Now, identity theft becomes very real. And it's getting frustratingly real for a growing number of taxpayers.
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NEWS
January 21, 2016
A Delaware County man has been charged with misrepresenting himself as a contractor and taking payments for work that was never completed, the District Attorney's office announced Tuesday. Charges against Vincent Cottrell, 39, of Upper Darby Township, included theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and identity theft. He was arraigned and released on $75,000 unsecured bail, according to public records. According to court documents: Cottrell had been hired by J.D. Kelly Corp., a Bucks County contractor, to help design a website.
NEWS
January 14, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
A Lansdale man has been charged with stabbing a 16-year-old boy and then identifying his identical twin as the perpetrator. Police responded Sunday afternoon to a house on East Main Street for a report of a stabbing. The victim was stabbed in the chest and airlifted to Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health. Lance Greenwood, 33, was in the house when police arrived, but the victim had not identified him as the attacker. Greenwood showed police the driver's license of his identical twin, Leonard.
NEWS
November 6, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
An FBI data expert told a Philadelphia jury Wednesday that he found a prodigious number of deleted file fragments on accused stalker John Hart's computers, including two Internet programs that enable a user to disguise the computer's identity. Michael Irvin testified that the websites - "Spoof Your IP Address" and "Spoofing Demystified" - offer software that would have let Hart cloak his computer during Internet searches for private information about CBS3 newscaster Erika von Tiehl. Spoofing is the term for making a computer's unique Internet Protocol (IP)
NEWS
October 28, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Testimony is set to begin Thursday in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court trial of a Delaware County man accused of stalking CBS3 newscaster Erika von Tiehl. Prosecution and defense lawyers spent Tuesday picking a jury of 12 and several alternates for what is estimated to be a three-day trial. John Hart, 39, of Havertown, is charged with six counts involving stalking, harassment, and identity theft in an alleged campaign of harassment in late 2011, after he and von Tiehl briefly dated and she ended the relationship.
NEWS
August 6, 2015
YOUR PERSONAL financial information can't be completely protected. With the already immeasurable list of data breaches that seems to grow longer by the day, maybe we should be praying not for protection but for better interventions. Witness the recent news involving the Federal Trade Commission and LifeLock Inc., one of the leading companies in the identity-theft-protection business. The FTC has filed charges alleging that LifeLock violated a 2010 settlement in which the company vowed to stop making deceptive claims about its services and implement stronger measures to safeguard its own customers' personal data, including credit card, Social Security and bank account numbers.
NEWS
June 24, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
For much of the last four years, Shelton Thomas assumed the identity of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams in a bizarre scheme to bilk more than $95,000 from a World War II veteran whose lawn he mowed. On Monday, Thomas' world could not have gotten more real - sentenced to 161/2 to 33 years in prison by a Philadelphia judge for draining the life savings of 93-year-old Raymond Campbell. Thomas, 49, who knew Williams and his family growing up in the same Cobbs Creek neighborhood - but who looks nothing like the city's top prosecutor - sucked in his breath as Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford A. Means imposed the maximum possible sentence.
NEWS
March 26, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A mother reported missing since June might have been the victim of foul play, Upper Darby Township police said Thursday. Amanda DeGuio, a mother of 3- and 5-year-old girls, was last seen by family members in late June when she walked out of her mother's Drexel Hill home. "Amanda should have been heard from," said Michael Chitwood, superintendent of Upper Darby police. "I hope we can get her back," he added, noting that she has a history of addictions to prescription drugs and heroin.
BUSINESS
March 10, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Tax time can be especially stressful for military families. But servicemen and women are allowed extra time to file and are eligible for free filing help. If you're serving outside the United States (including Puerto Rico) as of April 15, 2015, you're granted an automatic two-month extension to file tax returns. If that's not enough time, by submitting Form 4868 to the IRS, you can extend filing by an additional four months, according to the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Tax filers, don't worry if you get a phone call, a text, or an e-mail from the Internal Revenue Service. It won't be from the IRS. It will be a scam artist. "We always tell our clients . . . the IRS never e-mails and they never text you and they don't call out of the blue," said Larry Orr, director in the tax department of CBIZ MHM in Plymouth Meeting. "These are scams looking to steal your information. " One client received a phone call supposedly from the IRS "threatening to put him in jail if he didn't pay right away," Orr said.
NEWS
February 5, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
A FORMER Philadelphia Police clerk and her husband were arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing three ATVs that cops had confiscated from illegal riders. Sharon Hammitt, 45, and her husband, John, 44, of the Far Northeast, were charged with theft, forgery, misapplication of entrusted property, securing execution of documents by deception, identity theft, unsworn falsification and tampering with public records, according to the District Attorney's Office. Sharon Hammitt had worked since January 1989 as a clerk in the Auto Pound Unit, where she was responsible for keeping records of vehicles brought to the pound and those then sent to auction or salvage yards, the D.A.'s office said.
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