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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 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 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 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.
BUSINESS
October 5, 2013 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
When you or someone you know suffers identity theft, the typical loss is more than $4,900, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. So how can we protect ourselves? A June study found that the number of identity fraud victims annually in the United States totaled 11.5 million people. So we put together some tips to fight identity theft: Guard your mail and trash from theft. Have the U.S. Postal Service hold your mail while away from home, and install a lockable mailbox. Tear or shred receipts, insurance information, credit applications, doctor's bills, checks and bank statements, old credit cards, and any credit offers received in the mail.
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NEWS
May 18, 2016 | By Steve Bohnel, Staff Writer
ABOUT 3:15 SUNDAY morning, Alethia Smalls received a call from her son, Kevin. Moments later, she said, she would learn how he had lit his girlfriend, Melissa Bacon-Smith, on fire - a story that would dominate headlines and cause police to say the worst about her son. She wants people to know there's another side to the story. "Kevin Small is mentally ill," Smalls, 59, said Monday afternoon. "He's not a violent person, he just lost it . . . I don't like the Philadelphia police calling him a scumbag.
NEWS
April 27, 2016
Man shot 5 times; arrest made A 29-year-old man was shot five times and critically wounded at lunchtime Monday in Ogontz, and police took a suspect into custody after a half-hour standoff. The victim, who was described as uncooperative, was taken to Einstein Medical Center after the 11:57 a.m. shooting on the 5800 block of Old York Road, police said. He had been shot twice in the neck, and once each in the chest, stomach and buttocks. Police said a witness told them a gunman wearing a black hoodie and a tan hat, and carrying a black backpack and tan shopping bag, had run into a residence just around the corner, on the 1400 block of Conlyn Street.
NEWS
April 27, 2016
A 37-year-old Delaware County man was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison for his role in a scheme that stole or attempted to steal $1.1 million from banks through identity theft, federal prosecutors said. Benjamin Easley, of Upper Darby, pleaded guilty in 2014 to seven counts of bank fraud, 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of conspiracy. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in a separate case that was consolidated for his sentencing.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, STAFF WRITER
Nearly 11,000 Main Line Health employees fell victim to a "spear phishing" scam last month that exposed key personal information, including birth dates and social security numbers, the health system said Wednesday. On Feb. 16, a Main Line employee responded to an email believed to be a legitimate request for Main Line employees' information, which also included names, addresses, and salaries, Main Line said. No patient information was released, said Main Line, which learned of the incident Tuesday.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2016
Criminals plan for tax season, just as their victims do. Gregory Floyd is assistant special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigations Division office in Philadelphia, which does the nitty-gritty work of investigating tax-related crimes. "Tax fraud due to identity theft is one of our biggest concerns," Floyd said. IRS Criminal Investigations also has worked with other federal agencies on cases such as the indictment of Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. and the upcoming trial of Nova Bank executive Barry Bekkedam.
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.
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