16 indicted in identity theft ring

BAY VILLAGE, OH (WOIO) - On June 10, 2010, a Bay Village resident reported her checking account number had been compromised and utilized on a number of fabricated checks.  These fabricated checks were cashed at local banks by various individuals for a total of $43,000.  Bay Village Police Department began an investigation which exposed a much larger fraud enterprise.  Bay Village Police worked cooperatively with many bank fraud investigators, the U. S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies and identified losses totaling $415,828.00 at four separate banking institutions.

As a result of this extensive investigation, eighteen individuals were arrested and indicted by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury for the Identity Theft ring.

Between May 2010 and August 2010, these individuals were making unauthorized withdrawals and "split deposits" on legitimate victim's account at multiple branch locations throughoutCleveland, Akron and Youngstown.  The individuals obtained high quality forged Ohio driver's licenses of the legitimate account owners.  They also possessed the bank account information of the victims and were able to use the fake identification to access the account and withdraw large sums of cash.

Investigation identified the individuals who operated the identity theft ring and recruited others to make the bank withdrawals.  Several search warrants were executed at residences and storage facilities.  Thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise that had been fraudulently purchased was located.  In addition, computer equipment, fake ID making material, and bank account information was discovered.

The sixteen individuals indicted by the Grand Jury were:  Brian Lumbus of Maple Heights, Glen Chatman of Euclid, Minnie Drummer of Cleveland, Montrea Donaldson of Cleveland, Anthony Houston of Cleveland, Tierra Brooks of Cleveland, Talanda Wood of Cleveland, Malisha Anderson of Maple Heights, Grant Johnson of Cleveland, Colby Franklin of Cleveland, Eric Cammon of Cleveland, Angela Taylor of Euclid, Gwendolyn White of Cleveland, Kristel Bennett of Cleveland, Christopher McCaskey of Cleveland, and Julianna Paszter of Cleveland.

Two other subjects who assisted in the identity theft operation were arrested and indicated in Cincinnati.  These two individuals are Ashlee Goodwin and Jaques Sanders, both of Cincinnati.

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