There are many alarming statistics about identity theft and the rapid growth of the crime. A recent Today.com story stated about 13.1 million Americans were victims of ID thefts in 2013.
The figure was 500,000 more Americans than in 2012. A report released by Javelin Strategy & Research, found somebody becomes a victim of identity theft every 2 seconds. The study was compiled before the recent security breach of the retailer Target’s credit cards.
In Texas, seven people, including a former Fannie Mae employee, have been charged in what authorities say, is an identity theft scheme that drained the accounts of bank customers.
The Dallas Morning News reported the defendants are accused of running a conspiracy from October 2009 to July 2013 in which they stole personal information from about 1,100 Fannie Mae customers, according to federal officials.
They are also charged with using personal information from Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase customers to steal money from their accounts.
Federal investigators say the defendants used the information to create fake identities. “They then went on a spending spree, using the money or stolen IDs to rent hotel rooms and buy luxury items,” according the indictment.
The alleged conspirators from the Dallas area and elsewhere in northern Texas, face charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other charges.
One of those charged, Katrina Thomas, 40, of Garland, worked as an underwriting support specialist for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) the Dallas Morning News reported. The indictment claims she used the access she was given to customer files to steal personal information that she then sold or given to two of the other defendants, according to the indictment.
The indictment says defendants directly accessed the victims’ bank accounts or opened joint accounts in the names of both the runners and the victims.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service as well as the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General. If they are convicted, the defendants face multiple years in prison as well as fines.
The federal authorities prosecute white collar crimes such as identity theft. Typically these crimes result in multi-count indictments and stiff penalties. Broden & Mickelsen have extensive experience in representing defendants charged with federal conspiracy and white collar crime.