Archive for November, 2013

Owner of Federal Way business charged with 23 counts of identity theft

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

ebtTACOMA — A 58-year-old man who owns John’s Meat and Seafood  in Federal Way has been charged with 23 counts of identity theft for allegedly stealing money from food-assistance EBT cards, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported Friday.

The newspaper said John A. Comoza has been ordered to appear in Pierce County Superior Court on Tuesday for arraignment, but prosecutors wrote in court documents that he has left the state.

Prosecutors say Comoza stole nearly $9,500 from the EBT cards – which are issued to people who qualify for food stamps – between August and October 2012.

According to the newspaper, police began investigating Comoza after a woman discovered a $300 debit from her EBT card to John’s Meat and a Tacoma police detective discovered “additional victims statewide.”

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Chandler man accused of identity theft, failed hospital escape

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

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Pomona Men Accused Of Stealing Identities Of US Army Reservists

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

POMONA ( — Two men from Pomona have been accused of using the identities of U.S. Army reservists serving in Afghanistan in order to establish credit and purchase vehicles, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Mauro Cortez, 25, and Rigoberto Cortez, 29, were taken into custody on Wednesday when members of the L.A. County Identity Theft Task Force served a search warrant at a Pomona home. The suspects were released after posting $20,000 bail each.

Evidence linking the men to the alleged crime was recovered at the residence, authorities said. Investigators believe there are more than five victims who were defrauded out of more than $100,000.

The victims’ information was reportedly given to the suspects by a U.S. Army Reservist who is currently on active duty.

The identity theft task force consists of L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command out of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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Westmoreland man charged in connection with identity theft

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

(WKTV) – A Westmoreland man is charged with two felonies after he allegedly used a stolen credit card to make purchases, New York State Police said.

Jeffery C. Mlinar, 22, of Westmoreland, is charged with felony identity theft in the second degree and felony grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Mlinar was arrested Wednesday after a two-month investigation into the theft and unlawful use of a debit card in the Town of New Hartford.

According to state police, Mlinar allegedly used a stolen credit card to make nine unauthorized withdrawals from a First Source Federal Credit Union account.

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Prevent ID theft! NYPD and Staten Island Mall to host document-shredding event …

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Each year, thousands of Staten Islanders fall victim to identity theft.

Thieves scour trash cans and recycling bins, hunting for bank statements, credit card applications, pay stubs and other documents containing personal information.

In an ongoing effort to combat identity theft, the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Section has partnered with the Staten Island Mall to host a document-shredding event Sunday at the New Springville shopping center.

Residents and shoppers can have their personal and sensitive documents shredded for free, said police.

Computer hard drives, which contain personal information, can also be destroyed.

Protecting such information is a crucial step in preventing identity theft, police said.

Residents can also register their electronic devices with the NYPD’s Operation ID Program to aid in their recovery should they be lost or stolen.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Mall’s main entrance on Richmond Avenue, next to the Apple Bank branch.

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Active-duty Army reservists victims of identity theft; 2 men arrested

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Two men were arrested in connection with the identity theft of U.S. Army Reserve officers who were on active duty in Afghanistan, authorities said.

Mauro Cortez, 25, and Rigoberto Cortez, 29, were arrested Wednesday after the Los Angeles County Identity Theft Task Force served a search warrant at a home in Pomona, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The men were allegedly provided the identity information of more than five U.S. Army Reserve officers who were serving overseas in Afghanistan and then used it to establish lines of credit and buy cars. Deputies found evidence at the home allegedly linking the Cortez men to the identity theft. 

The loss is estimated to be more than $100,000.

The information was stolen and given to the Cortezes by another U.S. Army reservist who is on active duty, but it was not immediately known whether the reservist had also been arrested, according to the sheriff’s department.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command out of Kandahar, Afghanistan, also helped in the investigation. 


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Identity Theft Danger And

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Your Nov. 23 editorial “Manias, Panics and ObamaCare Crashes” is an excellent summary of what potentially is to come, but you neglected to mention the one outcome that might devastate many of those who attempt to enroll. And that is identity theft.

No security designed into will protect the unsuspecting. The designers failed to lock up website names close to

It is a fundamental design strategy that all major website designers employ to protect their customers.

While I am sure the website will be easily hacked because of the rush to make the site functional, security is clearly a secondary consideration under the current rush to just “make it work.” With the wealth of personal information available, is a dream site for those wishing to steal your identity.

Len Lindenmeyer

Fayetteville, Pa.

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Warning issued about identity theft; two arrested

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 10:28 am

Warning issued about identity theft; two arrested

By Ted Shorack
The Daily Astorian

Daily Astorian


Astoria Police are alerting Clatsop County residents of possible past fraud and identity theft in the area after Washington authorities arrested two people with checks listing Astoria and Warrenton addresses.

Washington State Patrol arrested Steven Hackett and Tina Squire, both of Spokane, Wash., who were in possession of checks, a check printer and multiple identifications with different names.

The checks listed addresses in different states and cities, including several in Astoria and Warrenton. The Astoria Police Department was contacted Wednesday by the Washington State Patrol. It is unknown whether crimes were committed in Clatsop County.

However, authorities are asking people who believe they were a victim of fraud to contact local police.

If checks were used by the pair in the area, police say they may have been with the names Kyle Dove, Jaymi L. Smith or Jaymi Lynn Smith.

Other possible names are James Godwin, Blaine Thompson, Eric Brown, Thomas Brawdy, Kenneth McDonald, Taylor Olive, Mary Thompson or Shawnna Allison.

© 2013 Daily Astorian. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Thursday, November 28, 2013 10:28 am.

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3 On Your Side: Holiday Travel ID Theft

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Planning a trip this holiday season? Besides making your reservations and figuring out what to pack, how much thought are you giving to protecting your identity and your money?

As 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan reminds us, taking a few simple steps before, during and after your trip can protect your personal and financial information from identity thieves.

“We’re often more generous or more trustworthy during the holiday season, and it’s easier to take advantage of us. So, it combines for the perfect storm of holiday risk, which we all need to prevent,” said Trusted ID CEO, Scot Mitic.

Mitic suggests that lighten up your wallet around the holidays.

“You really only need your credit card and driver’s license. And there are wallet no-no’s, and they include first and foremost your social security card, which you have no need to carry whatsoever on a trip. And secondly your passport — if you’re not traveling internationally, just leave it at home,” said Mitic.

Need cash on the go? Choose an ATM carefully.

“Stand-alone ATM machines often have what is known as ‘card skimmers,’ which lead identity thieves to be able to take a copy of the magnetic strip on your credit and then reapply that information to a blank credit card at a later date and effectively have a perfect copy of your credit card,” said Mitic.

On Facebook and Twitter? Think twice about announcing you’ll be away.

“Now, many of us broadcast it to hundreds or even thousands of our friends when we leave the house. You know, there’s no need to overly publicize where you’re going,” said Mitic.

Finally, if you’re staying at a hotel, don’t leave valuables lying around the room. Use the room safe if there is one. Just because you’re in a more trusting mode around the holidays doesn’t mean housekeeping staff will avoid temptation, too.

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Store manager sets up sting to bust identity theft suspect

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

A suspected identity thief is in jail after a local furniture store manager says he set up a sting with police.

The manager of Real Deals Furniture in Jefferson told Channel 2’s Diana Davis the suspect tried to get away with $4,500 worth of furniture, but instead he got a surprise arrest.

Willie Green, 28, of Locust Grove was led away in handcuffs by Jefferson police, arrested for felony credit card fraud after being caught in the furniture store sting.

“He knew he was done, so it was awesome,” store manager Tim Reed told Davis.

The staff at the furniture store told Channel 2’s Diana Davis that Green called the store a week or so ago to order a $4,500 bedroom set over the phone.

He provided credit card number that he said belonged to his uncle. Then Green said he would come to the store in a few days to pick up the set for his uncle.

Within hours Reed said the credit card company called the store.

“We find out from the credit card company it’s a fraudulent card, stolen identity case,” Reed told Davis.

From that moment, the sting was on.

When Green showed up with an unknowing delivery driver at the loading dock Wednesday, Reed called 911.

Police took Green away in cuffs. Reed said Green appeared dumbfounded.

“He basically was caught and he knew it,” Reed told Davis.

The store manager told Davis that Green also had a little girl, possibly his daughter, waiting in the car outside. He guessed she was only about 3 years old.

“He obviously wasn’t concerned, because he didn’t even tell us the child was out in the car. He didn’t tell police ’til later in the interview,” Reed said.

The store manager and police contacted the victim of the identity theft, Arthur Henning of Indiana.

Channel 2 Action News contacted him late Wednesday by phone.

“I am very happy and I told them anything else they need from me, I am more than happy to provide. If it means I have to drive to Georgia, I would do so,” Henning said.

Green was booked into the Jackson County Jail. There is no word on what happened to the little girl in the car.

Reed told Davis he believes Green may be involved in similar schemes with other metro furniture stores.

“The MO is he will call and order furniture to an address. Usually the house is for sale. They are told they can’t go in cause the floors are being done. The furniture is in the driveway, then it’s gone,” Reed said.

No one from the Jefferson Police Department returned Davis’ phone calls. She was not able to confirm if police believe Green is the same man involved in those other schemes.

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