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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Seven Charged in Identity Theft Ring

MANHATTAN (CN) - An ID theft ring stole the identities of more than 180 people and charged "expensive merchandise" to their accounts and then resold the stuff, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. attorney charged seven people in a 3-count indictment: Phillip Smith, 54; Melissa Morton, 24; Randy White, 56, all of the Bronx; Francis Hidalgo, 44, of Pomona, N.Y.; and Mahmoud Abdul Hussein, 27; Ali Abdul Hussein, 33; and Fadal Abdul Hussein, 22, all of Seaford, N.Y.

Prosecutors say the ring stole the names and Social Security numbers of customers of big retailers, including Home Depot, Sears, Kmart and Kohl's, then got fake driver's licenses with their own photos in the names of the victims. Smith allegedly got the phony licenses from the Hussein brothers, who operated out of two storefronts in Greenwich Village.

They are charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, conspiracy to produce false IDs, and aggravated identity theft.

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